“I Did It!”

I HATE EXERCISING. Let’s just get that out of the way.

I recently started going to a HIIT class after work. No, I’m not learning how to assassinate people. HIIT stands for ‘High Intensity Interval Training’–but I prefer to call it by its lesser known moniker:‘Horribly Illegal Individual Torture’. Being trapped for forty minutes in a smelly room with a bunch of smelly people, feeling like I’m going to die, is not something even my cute new workout clothes can make more enjoyable.

In fact, here is some of my inner dialogue that went on during class this evening:

“She said how much longer? She be crazy cause I can’t feel my legs…”

 “I can’t breathe…I hope I’m not making any awkward noises…”

“Don’t throw up, don’t throw up, don’t throw up…”




So if this class is so horrible, why do I put myself through it? The answer is simple–it’s because I feel so great after I’m done!

Science has long supported that your brain fires off happiness hormones after you exercise, but did you know that it’s only in part due to the physical activity itself? One of those happiness neurochemicals, serotonin, is released because your brain realizes that you’ve accomplished something HARD. You’ve challenged yourself and your brain is rewarding you.

We’ve all heard the expression to ‘step out of your comfort zone’ when taking on something we aren’t comfortable with. I’ve never liked that phrase. I prefer ‘expand your comfort zone’ because it conveys growth and permanence rather than something more fleeting. I challenge you to expand your comfort zone within your offices, RMASFAA, and the financial aid profession. The more “I did it!” experiences you can recall day to day, the greater chance you’ll want to recreate those happiness-causing behaviors.

Expand your comfort zone and introduce yourself to someone new at the upcoming conference in South Dakota.

Expand your comfort zone by learning another area of your office that’s not your responsibility.

Expand your comfort zone and volunteer to present at a state or regional conference.

Expand your comfort zone and join a RMASFAA committee or say yes when offered the opportunity to chair a committee.

Expand your comfort zone and plan to participate in the Leadership Pipeline program.

Expand your comfort zone and earn a NASFAA credential in a topic you don’t feel adequate in.

Whatever expanding your comfort zone means to you personally, I hope you will be rewarded with a greater sense of purpose, accomplishment, and happiness. The cute workout clothes will just be an added bonus.


Eleanor Roberts
Association News Co-Chair


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