Book Review: Living With A Seal

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Living With A Seal is an incredible book.  The book is about Jesse Itzler – a guy who has worked his entire life building companies (and selling them).  He married Sara Blakeley, founder of Spanx.  Jesse runs marathons and ultras for fun.  After his running hobby plateaus and he feels bored with it, he decides to hire a Navy Seal to live with him 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for one month.  The only rule during this period is that Jesse must do whatever “SEAL” tells him to do.  There are plenty of midnight runs, jumping in frozen lakes, and the like, but the most entertaining part is Jesse and SEAL’s reactions toward each other.I was thoroughly entertained throughout the read.  Jesse Itzler expresses his feelings and experiences in a way that communicates with the average working athlete.  The book is not a literary masterpiece. It reads more like a diary than a polished biography or memoir.

I found myself laughing out loud at Jesse and SEAL’s interactions. Jesse is kind of a crazy dude that isn’t afraid to speak up; and SEAL is, well, a Navy Seal. The relationship between them is interesting and deeply entertaining. It’s an easy read and I would guess most people will be able to finish it in less than two weeks. I would have probably finished it in a week, though I was travelling for business, so most of my time in my hotel room was spent reading. I reluctantly finished the book in less than two days. I wasn’t ready for it to be over.

Without giving away any details, I will say that this book will not motivate you to start training to scale Everest. But it will very likely motivate you to look at your daily life in a slightly different light. Could you cut back on the time you watch sports? Could you possibly aim to do 50 pushups during each commercial break? Maybe you decide to run that first marathon or get back to doing pull-ups everyday. No matter what, the story and the relationships will entertain. I read Living With A Seal on the heels of my own 100 pull-ups everyday for 30 days challenge.  I have started to notice moments throughout my day where I can improve.  I have added pullups and pushups to my morning routine; I realized that 10 pushups every few minutes during dinner prep is easy and adds up quickly.  The book will open your eyes and make you laugh.  Just be sure to knock out a few reps of something when you’re done laughing.

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