I’ve known Commander Mark Divine for almost a decade, and he’s as solid as they come. I had a chance to do a quick Q&A with him about his new book, 8 WEEKS TO SEAL FIT, and dig a little deeper into his training philosophy and personal background.

Enjoy, Brandon

1. Before joining the SEALs, you worked on Wall Street as a CPA. What inspired this dramatic career shift? 

I started a martial art that had a deep focus on meditation, which began to re-wire my mind a bit. Over the course of a year or so I began to see and feel like I was out of alignment in my life – meaning, more simply, that I was not in the right place doing what I was meant to do. I was waking up to this awareness that I was inspired to be a warrior and leader, and that I was not meeting that purpose as a CPA.

So I began to think seriously about making a dramatic change and tossing out the MBA and CPA and joining the Navy as a SEAL officer. It was a bold move that met with little approval on the home front, but it proved to be the right move and I never looked back.

2. How did you go from being a SEAL to getting into designing fitness programs? What were the biggest challenges when making this transition?

I was hired by the US Navy to create a mentoring program for SEAL and other Navy Special Ops candidates in 2006. The program was very successful, but I was limited in what I could actually do with the candidate trainees – there was no experimentation allowed and our hands were pretty tied.

So I decided to start a program where I could develop a model that would combine best practices from my SEAL physical training, the new model of CrossFit that Coach Glassman had evolved, and my martial arts and yoga training. The result was the integrated development programs I call SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind. SEALFIT is for warrior and endurance athletes, and Unbeatable Mind is for anyone who wants to learn to think and perform at an elite level without having to be a physical stud.