I recently went to a large Amusement Park here in Ohio for a two day respit to re-introduce myself to my kids (that means paying for admission, doling out spending cash, and casting them off for the day). As my wife and I we were climbing the hill on my favorite rickety roller-coaster, awaiting the big drop that I knew was inevitabley to come ( I have rode the same coaster for over ten years), I realized that what I was about to experience in the next twenty seconds, will be a condensed version of what my recruiting career has been like the past three years. Slowly up, quickly down, twists, turns, a few screams here and there (plus expletives); and when it is done, a rush of excitement over the sense of accomplishment, and a burning desire to get back on and do it again; and again; and again.

As a seasoned roller coaster freak, I have seen many an over-confident, over-zealous, rider wait in long lines around me to get on these rides. Often, as we get closer to stepping on board, their exhuberance turns to silence and they quickly become nervous, agitated, and very, very quiet. Typically some will jump out of line and exit the path, not able to answer the call. Others will reluctantly ride, never to get back on again (but at least can say they did it); and the few, the soon to be "pros", will get back on and do it again. They will overcome their fears and seek the continuos rush of adrenaline that follows. Rookie riders soon recognize that this experience will lead them to overcome the next coaster, the bigger hills, the deeper drops, the faster pace, the next big challenge in their trek to be the master of this domain. They become oblivious to the "newbies" around them; consumed by confidence and ambition: the drive to reach greater heights; to ride out the bigger valleys, hold tighter on the faster tracks; to seek once again a greater sense of accomplishment. Soon, they realize that through it all, they have and will answer the call. And in the end, it will become more about the ride. Sitting back and taking in the whole ride.

I have seen alot of "rookies" come into this business that do not realize the roller coaster ride they are about to experience. I was one myself. They climb the first hill slowly, not realizing that this hill is the prelude to the big drop that is ahead of them; that riding it out is critical in keeping their car moving forward; giving them the momentum to rise up again. Rookie riders scream and kick and can't wait to get off many times, looking around frantically instead of eagerly looking ahead. They have yet to realize that if they would just listen to those around them, they would soon notice that these riders sound different; they're calmer, they can't wait for what is around the next turn or through the next loop; the hill, the dip, the turns and twists. They seem to know what is coming before they get there. They have been here before and realize that after every peak, there is a valley, but they will rise up again. And, many a rider around the "rookie" will reluctantly get off when this ride is over, just to hurry up and get back on again. Regardless of the wait.

Roller coaster rides do not change over time. But every time you get back on, you gain experience, foresite, anticipation, and confidence. Somehow, although structurally the challenge is the same over and over, the ride becomes alot smoother; more inviting. You are captivated by the whole ride, not the individual parts. Then, and only then, you will raise your arms in "victory" as you speed through the process once more. Then this roller-coaster ride we call Recruiting becomes a blast!

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