Thursday, April 14, 2016

Review: Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler

Entrepreneur Jesse Itzler will try almost anything. He brazenly pretended to be an established hip-hop artist to secure a meeting with a studio head-and it led to a record deal. He convinced a bunch successful business executives to invest in an unprecedented business plan- and it turned into Marquis Jet. He sincerely offered to run a 100-mile race in Spanx to get the attention of the beautiful founder of the company-and ended up marrying her.

His life is about being bold and risky. And it's brought him plenty of rewards.

So when Jesse felt himself drifting on autopilot, he hired a rather unconventional trainer to live with him for a month-an accomplished Navy SEAL widely considered to be "the toughest man on the planet"!

Living with a SEAL is like a buddy movie if it starred the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air... and Rambo. Jesse is about as easy-going as you can get. SEAL is...not. He even shows up at Jesse's apartment with an inflatable raft just in case the Itzler family ever has to escape Manhattan by crossing the Hudson River.

Jesse and SEAL's escapades soon produce a great friendship, and by the time SEAL leaves, Jesse is in the best shape of his life, but he gains much more than muscle. At turns hilarious and inspiring, Living with a SEAL ultimately shows you the benefits of stepping out of your comfort zone.

Received for review.

I think it's pretty clear that there is no way in hell that I would ever survive living even one day with a SEAL, let alone thirty, so I was intrigued by how Jesse and his family would fare.  I expected shenanigans but also "aw" moments and I wasn't disappointed.

The author does an excellent job of telling his story like he's talking directly to you over lunch at a cafe.  His writing is engaging and friendly and you just can't help but smile as you're reading, even if he is doing completely crazy stuff that most of the population would want no part of (aka 1,000 pushups, running multiple miles in below freezing temperatures - outside).  He also makes SEAL seem like a really cool guy instead of the complete jerk you'd think he would be.  Sure, he's a hardass, but he's a nice hardass.  He also describes SEAL's interactions with his family and how he was so respectful and borderline sweet to them while he was staying with them.

It's also important to note that while this is a book about two guys working out written by one of those guys this is not a "guys only" book.  The lessons learned throughout and the growth experienced can be appreciated by anyone, regardless of gender.

Overall, for a multimillionaire the author seems like a really cool guy and it was a genuine joy to read his book.  I laughed, I cringed, I sniffled a few times, I was thankful it was him and not me, and I read the very last page with a smile on my lips.  If you're looking for a light and thoroughly entertaining read this is it.  I highly, highly recommend it.

★★★★ = Really Liked It


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