There is a saying in Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training: Ideally, you want to become the gray man. In other words, you become invisible, nobody notices you, because you do everything so perfectly that you never stand out. 

I had gone from that guy to gray man.

This is not to say that Hell Week was easy. It was as brutal as all the legends say, and then some. From the morning it began, my classmates started winking out like cheap light bulbs. 

The first night they disoriented us: We were up all night, and that was only the beginning because we were going to be up for five days and nights straight. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were the worst. If you were hanging in there by Tuesday night you didn’t have a lot of company, because most of the guys had already quit. They really brought on the cold and the punishment those first three days.