The idea of accomplishing a seemingly insurmountable goal like Hell Week by setting smaller, more attainable goals like getting to your next meal is not an original idea. When I got to BUD/S, my class had an instructor assigned to us who had the responsibility of mentoring us through the program. He shared advice on different mental tricks, and that was one that he taught us. I remember that idea resonating with me because it was a tool that I had used many times before. It validated a process that I had placed in my life and gave me a reason to keep making big things small by cutting them down into smaller, easier to attain goals. This story is about one of the first times that I learned to take control of my thoughts to accomplish a challenging goal. When we can put our minds to work for us, we become mentally tough.
I grew up outdoors and always had an intense love for the mountains. I spent my entire life before high school living in mountainous regions in the western states. My parents taught me how to make fire, fish, camp, and hike from a young age and I am thankful for it, although they may have regretted it a little as I grew into a teenager.
I have always pushed a little harder than those around me and have been in constant search for my limits. It was when I lived in Tucson, Arizona, when I met a few other guys who were in search of their limits as well. We might have seemed different or counterculture to our classmates, ...