Living With A Seal – Book Review


Living With A Seal: 31 Days Training With The Toughest Man On The Planet

If you don’t challenge yourself, you don’t know yourself.
– David Goggins (SEAL)

What would your life look like if every day, you pushed yourself beyond your physical limits and strived to get in the best shape of your life?

How would your life be different if each day, you challenged yourself to get out of your rut – to shake things up – to shock your system so that you could approach opportunities and challenges differently?

Those are a few of the things that ran through entrepreneur Jesse Itzler’s mind when he stepped outside of the box and made the unconventional decision to hire David Groggins – a retired Navy Seal who is considered to be “the toughest athlete on the planet” – as his personal trainer for 31 days.

To say that Jesse got more than he bargained for would be the understatement of the year.

In Living With A Seal – 31 Days Training With The Toughest Man On The Planet, Jesse Itzler describes in grueling detail what it was like for him – a privileged, nutrition-conscious marathon runner who was already in shape by most people’s standards – to be pushed beyond his limits by an elite African-American athlete who was unimpressed by his wealth, unfazed by normal things like snowstorms and physical injuries that would sideline most people, and who trained himself to do the things he detested (like running!) on a daily basis so that he could achieve his higher goals (like raising money for the Special Operations Warrior Foundation).

Jesse spends a lot of time sharing his personal history and business accomplishments throughout the book but make no mistake about it: the real star of Living With A Seal is not Jesse or Sara (his successful, Spanx-creating wife), but SEAL himself.

Each chapter in Living With A Seal captures the events that occurred during each day of their time together and is summed up by a SEAL quote at the beginning of the section.

As you might imagine, Jesse’s world is turned completely upside down from the moment that SEAL enters Jesse’s life and we are privy to each grueling, funny, scary and poignant moment.

SEAL is scary. SEAL is intense. SEAL is motivational for those who are inspired by tough love. SEAL is someone you definitely want to have on your side on a dark night in a dark alley – or when skinheads show up at your home, as they do on Day 29 of Jesse’s journey.

Jesse’s life was forever changed by the month that he spent with SEAL. In 31 days, not only does he achieve his physical goal of getting in the best shape of his life, but he learns how to discipline his mind and shift his perspective on things in ways that continue to impact how he approaches life and business to this day.

If even a little bit of SEAL’s unconventional but empowering philosophy rubs off on us after spending time with him through this book, perhaps our lives will be changed for the better, too.

CBS This Morning Video: Navy SEAL Lives With Hawks Owner As Personal Trainer

Video Excerpt: David Goggins Speaking At 2015 Character Combine

About Jesse Itzler


Jesse Itzler only eats fruit until noon, loves Run-D.M.C., and enjoys living life “out of the box,” actually, he doesn’t even have a box. He cofounded Marquis Jet, the world’s largest prepaid private jet card company in 2001, which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets. He then helped pioneer the coconut water craze with Zico coconut water, which he and his partners sold to The Coca-Cola Company in 2013.

Jesse is a former rapper on MTV and he produced both the NBA’s Emmy Award-winning “I Love This Game” music campaign and the popular New York Knicks anthem “Go NY Go.” When he is not running ultra marathons or being a dad to his three kids, Jesse can be found at the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks games, where he is an owner of the team. He is married to Spanx founder Sara Blakely and the couple and their 3 boys live in Atlanta, Georgia.

About David Goggins (SEAL)

There is no one quite like David Goggins – the only member of the US Armed Forces to complete Navy SEAL, US Army Ranger and Air Force tactical air controller training. David has als completed more than 50 endurance races, including multiple ultra-marathons, ultra-triathlons, bike races and arduous mountain ascents. But, all the awards, medals and accolades mean nothing to David. Instead, it’s all about achieving his personal best and pushing himself well past his comfort zone. David’s incredible story will motivate and inspire anybody striving to become their best self.


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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Hatchette Books. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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One Response to “Living With A Seal – Book Review”

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  1. The Rambler says:

    I would love to have someone trying to spark up my butt and get me going in the healthier direction!!! But I’m also sure I would cry every second…haha. sigh.

    visiting via SITS sharefest. =)

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