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5 Places to Unpack Your Passion


5 Places to Unpack Your Passion

Last September, I found myself sitting in front of my computer, debating whether or not to sign up for a 3-part course called "Confident Cooking" at Sur La Table. I wanted to sign up, but I knew that I wouldn’t know anyone there and frankly, my cooking skills were severely lacking. In a moment of blind ambition, I pressed purchase.

Fast forward to the first class: I showed up early, put on my name tag and apron, then took a seat waiting to see who I’d be working with for the next 3 weeks as we conquered making chowder, biscuits, risotto, pasta, and more. I ended up getting paired with a newlywed about my age and her mother-in-law. As we talked, I discovered we had a lot in common and that they too weren’t pros in the kitchen - it was quite a relief to learn that we all had this in common.

Image Credit :  Kaboompics

Image Credit : Kaboompics

Over the next couple of hours, I learned how to properly use a Chef’s Knife and worked with my team to prepare a great meal. By the end of the class, we’d made a delicious salad with purple grapes and toasted walnut vinaigrette, buttermilk biscuits with maple butter, and a pot of sweet potato chowder with chicken and corn. The first class was a success: the food was delicious, I didn’t burn any food, and no injuries from the knife work. I left feeling energized, accomplished, and proud of myself for trying something new. I couldn’t wait to tell my roommates about the class and pick a night to cook for them that week. Needless to say, they were impressed by my new skills. Over the next few months I took a few more classes, cooked for more friends and along the way, I discovered a passion for cooking - one I never thought I’d have.

Image Credit : Kaboompics

Image Credit : Kaboompics

How did I end up at a cooking class?

Earlier that September I had been doing quite a bit of soul searching - I was trying to find my happiness. I asked myself a couple of hard questions: aside from continuing education for work, what have I learned for myself lately? When was the last time I tried something new?

During my search, I realized that learning makes me happy.  I missed everything from the challenge of a new activity to conversing with family about these challenges. Most of all though, I missed the fulfillment that conquering these new challenges gave me.  
Three hours into Knitting Boot Camp...

Three hours into Knitting Boot Camp...

Realizing that the only learning I had done in the past few years was centered around work was a motivator to sign myself up for my first cooking class - and I’m extremely happy I made the decision to do so.  Since September, I’ve continued to go to new classes outside of my comfort zone. Last Saturday, I spent my day at Workshop SF learning how to knit! Not my most successful endeavor but it was a fun day meeting new people and trying something I hadn’t done before.


I’m so happy that I made the decision to step out of my comfort zone and try something new, and I would encourage others to do the same.

San Francisco has an abundance of places to take workshops/classes to learn or even just try something new. I invite you to get our of your comfort zone and explore interests that may bring you happiness.

Top 5 Places I Recommend:

Workshop SF: Their motto is “Drink Beer and Make Stuff.” Workshop SF offers a wide variety of classes, ranging from making leather wallets to sewing to brewing your own beer and pretty much everything in between. Check out their website to see everything they’ve got to offer.

Image Credit :  Pixabay

ODC: Located in the Mission, their facility offers traditional dance classes (tap, ballet, jazz) and even goes into an eclectic offering of Salsa, Belly Dancing, Bollywood and admittedly what sounds the most fun to me: “Vogue and Tone.”

Image Credit : Pawel Kadysz

San Francisco Outdoor Adventure Club: Full of multi-sport weekend trips, this is the one if you’re ready to brave a new physical endeavor. Their trips include weekends in Tahoe, rock climbing, and whitewater rafting. If you need a getaway, consider signing up their surfing and beach vacations in Costa Rica.

Image Credit : Dino Reichmuth


Endgames Improv:  Most classes here are about 3 hours long but are fairly small, allowing for a lot of personal interaction. You can hone your skills in character or scene work, sketch writing, or musical improv. While you’re a student there, you also receive free admission to all of their shows.

Image Credit : Markus Spiske

Sur La Table: Classes include basic knife skills all the way through baking macarons and cooking various cuisines (French, Thai, Italian, etc). Classes are offered on weeknights and weekends -  they even have date night options that both friends or couples could attend together.

Image Credit : Tranmautritam


Why Not Now?!


Why Not Now?!

Let’s get motivated!

As the holiday season approaches, many clients will fall to the wayside only to surface January 1st, two steps back and they return with a new goal in mind. Now this may seem like the ideal client for the gym industry- it does make for a great sale- but this isn’t ideal for the person, who statistically falls off after 3 months. I don’t mean to point any fingers here, but just trying ruffle some feathers to uncover those of you who are really ready to make a serious commitment towards lifestyle changes.

Motivation is to be described as the direction and intensity of effort. The direction of effort refers to whether one seeks out, approaches, or is attracted to situations; while intensity of effort refers to how much effort one puts for in a situation (Boyd, 2014). Now everyone is different, but some of the common reasons for beginning an exercise routine are health factors, weight loss, fitness, self challenge, and feeling better. These initial reasons are a great start, but it is important that those initial reasons slide to the bottom of the list making room for reasons why individuals continue to exercise.

Not everyone is motivated the same way, some individuals might be more intrinsically motivated, while others extrinsically motivated. Extrinsic motivation involves participating in an activity for the reward or punishment- meaning exercising because you like to eat McDonalds on your days off (Hunter, 2008). Intrinsic motivation is derived from the enjoyment of the activity- Whaaaat, you actually like the feeling of sweat in your eyes?! Most clients start out being more extrinsically motivated, and it is our job as personal trainers to help our clients gain some intrinsic motivation. One way that Perform for Life fosters intrinsic motivation is that we are always going to provide an environment for clients to be successful and experience pride in their accomplishments.

Enough with all the words. Let’s be real, everyone is looking for the list of tips!

How to not only achieve your results during the holidays but also become more intrinsically motivated forever:

  • Set specific not general goals

Ex: General goal: lose inches around my waist

Specific: lose 2 inches around my belly button.

  • Set challenging but realistic goals
  • Set long term and short term goals
  • Ink it, don’t think it

Write it down. Take a picture! Make it fun!

  • Support!

Who supports you other than your coach with your goals?

  • Evaluation and feedback

Goals change, things happen. It’s ok to tweak things.


Give yourself some rewards every now and again. Donuts, pizza, a margarita, treat yourself! 

Now, I know all of these steps sound lengthy and intimidating, but it is our job as your coaches to help you succeed. There is no better reward than seeing a client go above and beyond their goal. Success is not going to come easy, but once fat pants become your skinny pants, you’ll forget all about the burpees and you’ll relish in the fact that you actually enjoy them now.

Happy lifting!



Boyd, M. (2014) Goal setting. [Powerpoint slides].

Boyd, M. (2014). Motivation. [Powerpoint slides].

Hunter, S. (2008). Promoting intrinsic motivation in clients. Strength and conditioning journal, 30 (1). 52-54.



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