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Living with a SEAL: 31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet Paperback – November 1, 2016
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It's hilarious―LeBron James
This is 100% Jesse. Do it differently and you get different results. That's the way he has operated his entire life and it has worked beautifully.―Mike "Coach K" Krzyzewski, Duke Basketball head coach
Jesse is a risk taker and is always trying different things to get better. Plus, he's fun to go out with.―Tom Brady, New England Patriots, four-time NFL Champion, two-time NFL MVP
Most of us go through life on auto-pilot. New day...same routine. This guy beamed a "live action hero" into his living room for 31 days to shake up his life. Sometimes you have to have the guts to do something radical to get results.―Dolvett Quince, The Biggest Loser
Jesse knows what it takes to succeed in business and in life - a Don't Quit attitude! Our US Military embraces that attitude in training and survival, no one more so than the elite Navy SEALs. When my pal invites SEAL into his world, Jesse's life is never the same again! The relationship between these guys is outrageous - it's like the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air meets Rambo! But with all the insanity there are strong life messages, hysterical moments, and great lessons to be learned. Like Jesse, this book is a HIT!―Jake Steinfeld, chairman and founder of Body by Jake
George Foreman once gave me great advice. When I told him my husband ran 100 miles non-stop he said, 'Sara, don't try to understand a man like that. Just love him.'―Sara Blakely, Founder of SPANX, Jesse's wife
"Living With A Navy Seal is funny and compelling with practical wisdom that leaves the reader feeling elevated and empowered. It also deeply impacted my own personal journey to health, fitness and well being."―Senator Cory Booker
About the Author
Jesse Itzler eats only fruit 'til noon, loves Run-D.M.C., and enjoys living life "out of the box." He cofounded Marquis Jet, the worlds largest prepaid private jet prepaid flight card company which he and his partner sold to Berkshire Harhaway/NetJets. Jesse then helped pioneer the coconut water craze with Zico coconut water, which was acquired by The Coca-Cola Company. He 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, eating vegan food 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.
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I had a similar experience reading Jesse Itzler's informative, inspiring and hilarious fitness memoir, "Living with a SEAL."
Itzler is a compulsively motivated human being who has achieved crazy success in entertainment, business, and fitness (to say nothing of marriage) by doing things others haven't thought of, view as contrarian or consider bat-shit insane. (is "bat-shit" hyphenated?)
In LWaS, Jesse recounts the intense, month-long training hell he brought on himself by inviting a real-life Navy SEAL to live with him and his family. Early in the book I was thinking, "...maybe I should turn up the heat on my workouts and push the limits of my mind and body." Then I read about Jesse's torn muscles, hypothermia and bloody nuts (yes, those kind of nuts), and thought, "naaahhh."
Indeed, Jesse holds back none of the grueling details involved in training with one of the world's most elite warriors and the marital complexities that arise when you host him in your family's apartment.
Like SEAL, Jesse has one speed: 110% x 24 x 7. He's also a little bat-shit insane and a really funny writer. If you're into fitness and/or crazy people, you'll love Living with a SEAL.
This book was simply amazing.
I just read the entire book over two days while on vacation in Hollywood, and it's inspired the hell out of me.
First, it's a fitness book--running, push-ups, pull-ups, burpees, fireman's carry, the physical exploits in this book (1,000 pushups in a day by someone who could do 20 when the month started?!) are STUNNING. It's motivating to get out there and do it myself.
Next, it's inspiring--just reading about Jesse, his wife Sara Blakely, and Goggins, who I was introduced to in the incredible interview he did with Tom Bilyeu on Impact Theory (Google it) and then another with Joe Rogan was inspiring and it made that level of success seem somehow more attainable.
Lastly--this book is laugh out loud funny at parts. My wife was asking what was so funny when I read the part about Goggins chasing after a few thugs and what resulted with it. I'm usually more of a LQTM (laugh quietly to myself) kind of person, so reaching the LOL status was pretty damn impressive.
I LOVE Itzler's writing. It's smooth and easy to digest. The fact that he brings the reader into his home and life with humor and transparency makes the pages flow effortlessly. There is no pretense with this book. It moves beyond just being "authentic," it's a real look inside the life of one of the most interesting people I've ever discovered.
Here are a few of the quotable bombshells from the book:
"Many of us live our lives on autopilot. We do the same thing every day; wake up, go to work, come home, have dinner. Repeat. I found myself drifting in that direction. It was as if my cruise control settings had been set and I wasn’t improving. I wanted to get off it; I wanted to shake things up in a big way."
"This is a habit I have. When I see or read about someone interesting, I call them up and basically ask them to be my friend."
“When you think you’re done, you’re only at forty percent of what your body is capable of doing. That’s just the limit that we put on ourselves.”
Jesse on another book that's helped to shape his nutrition plan--most notably eating only fruits until after 12pm:
"One of the main underlying philosophies in his book is that we use more energy for digestion than all other bodily functions combined. That’s why we are usually tired after a big meal. That said, the average American will eat seventy tons of food in their lifetime. Imagine how hard the body has to work to process and break down all of that food."
"Maybe the best part about my music career was the fact that I didn’t sell that many records. As my wife likes to say, “Failure is just life’s way of nudging you and letting you know you’re off course.”
"There’s generally a moment in every endeavor I undertake, be it business, love, or fitness, when I say to myself: What the hell was I thinking?"
"Any time when you live a little outside of the norm people look at you: (a) with some admiration and (b) like you’re crazy. I never cared about that and I still don’t."
"You can get through any workout because everything ends." —SEAL
"I know it sounds cliché, but the journey really is more important than the destination. Once you get where you’re going, most of the magic drains out. I could really see myself as a minimalist, just taking life wherever it leads me."
"I have another philosophy. You can be fit without being healthy, but you can’t be healthy without being fit. Meaning… you can be in great shape on the outside, but if you don’t eat great and don’t take care of your insides, you aren’t necessarily healthy."
"With fitness there’s never a finish line. You can always do better. For me personally, I guess I probably have thirty or forty years left on earth. And how many of those am I going to be young enough and healthy enough to do things? I want to experience the best stuff I can. I’ve never jumped off a cliff—I should just jump off a cliff because I’m only here once. That’s how I approach things now. That’s how I feel about things. That’s how I live my life."
I would give more of these--I highlighted a BUNCH of this book--but I want to give YOU the pleasure of unearthing some of these philosophical, hilarious, imminently USABLE ideas on your own.
This book is a gem. I've probably read over 2,000 books thus far in my life, and this one is extremely memorable, actionable, and easily one of my favorites.
If you're reading this and wondering if you should get the book--GET IT.
Thank you, Jesse for writing about your experience for others like to me to put to use in our lives.
***P.S. I put the book down and did an immediate 7 mile walk (I couldn't run due to a pulled groin...but that's coming soon too).
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I highly recommend!