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Frank's Book Log

Literature is a relative term.

Living with a SEAL

31 Days Training with the Toughest Man on the Planet
2015 | Nonfiction
A cover of Living with a SEAL by Jesse Itzler (2015)
on Jun 01, 2022

Serial entrepreneur Jesse Itzler invites a former US Navy SEAL to shadow and train him for a month.

The premise hooked me, but the execution underwhelmed. Midway through, Itzler reveals the book’s origin as a blog he circulated amongst his friends. The book retains the format. Each chapter chronicles a day in Itzler’s life interspersed with the SEAL pushing him through grueling workouts comprising freezing runs and grueling push-up and pull-up sets. Each chapter ends with the day’s total miles run and push-ups and pull-ups performed.

I read this during a cross-Atlantic plane ride. Even as a captive audience, it struggled to hold my attention, and after a few chapters, I’d put it down in favor of an audiobook or podcast. Then, after my ears needed a break, I’d return and read a few more chapters before repeating the cycle. Now that I’m home, I’ve abandoned it.

Itzler, while affable and a competent writer, proves an uncompelling subject. To pad the length, he includes autobiographical anecdotes, such as how he broke into the recording business, met his wife, and started his private jet business. These didn’t interest me. I came for the SEAL, but Itzler paints him as an enigma bordering on caricature.

Fortunately, Itzler later identified the SEAL as David Goggins, who wrote his own story, Can’t Hurt Me, which I look forward to listening to in his own words.

Reading History

    Wed Jun 01, 2022 via Kindle (Center Street, 2015)
    Abandoned after 8 Days
    1. 24 May, 2022
    2. 31 May, 2022
    3. 01 Jun, 2022