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Meet Our Integrative Physiologist: Timothy A. Coyle, Jr. M.S.

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Meet Timothy A. Coyle, Jr. M.A.Ed., our Integrative Physiologist here at Complete Wellness NYC.  Armed with a master’s degree in Kinesiology, 9-year experience as a veteran ocean lifeguard and instructor, 4 years of clinical experience as an exercise physiologist and 7 years of personal training experience, Coyle’s professional resume is impressive. In addition to his role at Complete Wellness NYC, he holds the position of assistant professor of exercise science at Long Island University-Brooklyn and is CEO of Cado Health Solutions.  With all of this said, what truly stands out about Coyle is his welcoming personality and passion for people.  

When recently asked by the Complete Wellness NYC web team to fill in a short questionnaire, Coyle graciously took time out of his busy schedule to give us some awesome answers. We think you’ll love them too!

What are you most passionate about professionally? Personally?

Professionally, it’s the people. It’s all about developing genuine relationships, because that builds trust. When people trust you, then and only then, the gate opens for them to allow you to begin really helping. Then, the energy you put into a person, seeing that translate into improvement(s) in that person’s life – that is the payoff.

Developing chemistry or synchrony with a client / patient and seeing that they start to care, because you really care, is a tremendous feeling. I don’t think that can be overstated or said too often. When you see someone struggling with something and then he/she overcomes that obstacle, that’s powerful. Sometimes those troubles and challenges aren’t even about the physical ailment or need, but buried deep in the subconscious. Everyone has his/her obstacles; movement helps you loosen up and get below the surface, in my experience.

I get to customize people to their own liking for a living, so that’s awesome. Helping someone become more of the person they always wanted to be, but perhaps never pursued, is a really cool process.

Personally, I am most passionate about patience. Taking educated risks is a lot of fun. Patience pays. Properly valuing our time here on Earth is an important skill, in my opinion. Lack of patience gets people into trouble, not just in health, but in all areas. Or, at least, it increases the chances of bad things happening. To me, there is nothing more gratifying than incremental progress. Progress never happens as soon as we would like for it to, though. Believe it or not, I was probably more patient when I was younger, maybe in my early 20’s. Now that we are expanding and growing here at Complete Wellness, I tend to want things to happen more quickly out of excitement. I guess that’s a good thing! But it is important to enjoy each unique moment and day.

What would you do even if you didn’t get paid to do it?

I was born to do exactly what I’m doing right now. Money is just a tool. Surfing more often would be nice, though! And sleep. Lots of sleep. Being a mentor is fun, too.

What are you surprisingly good at?

If I had to pick one thing, I guess it would be surfing. My wife and I were down in Rincon, Puerto Rico back in February. I hadn’t surfed in 4-6 months. Being in “surfing shape” is a whole different level of fitness, and it was nice to feel really good in the water, as well as be able to drop in on 10-foot faces and not feel like a ‘fish-out-of-water’ after so much time away from it. All the credit goes to the work I put in at the gym. That’s a great example of what focused practice and training can do for your movements and activities of choice. Plus, after 20 years of surfing, I would hope a little bit of time off doesn’t unravel the myelination in those motor pathways!

Otherwise, I’ve got nothing. If I told you my life’s story, I don’t think you would be surprised that very little surprises me anymore. That’s not necessarily bad, it just is. What I’m surprisingly good at? No idea. You would have to ask my wife or a friend, family member. Telling the brutal, honest truth – I’m particularly good at that! But people don’t always like it. Also, I don’t know if I should be telling you this, but I read people incredibly well. You couldn’t lie to me if you tried. It’s like a sixth sense. If you’re lying to me, you’re just lying to yourself.

What’s the biggest proof that you’re good at what you do?

The number of long-term clients I have maintained and the bonds we have built. Also, this fall, I will be co-teaching Entrepreneurship in Fitness and Health at LIU-Brooklyn in their graduate-level exercise physiology program. I suppose that’s a feather in the cap.

What’s your biggest accomplishment?

Being able to do all that I do and somehow still be a decent husband / family member (I think), and keep in good shape. And maybe go surfing a few times a year.

How does your education connect to your professional career? What about personal experiences?

There are several direct connections.

Ocean lifeguarding during summers from ages 16-24 was obviously a physical job, and one that taught me how to watch and protect people. It has translated really well into having a biomechanically sound intuition when paired with education and experience in kinesiology / physiology. I can tell what people do (or don’t do) for fitness, as well as strengths, weaknesses, imbalances, just from how they walk down the street. It’s even easier to do in the gym, of course. That’s people-watching as a skill! After hundred of rescues and medical situations over nine years, I like to think that lifeguarding prepared me for pretty much anything in my current profession.

We also learned a number of valuable lessons on the job:

  • The seven P’s, from the Marines – Prior, Proper Preparation Prevents Piss-Poor Performance
  • Great military quote during our training – “Slow is smooth; smooth is fast. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes – learn from your mistakes, but never make the same one twice.” By year six, I became an instructor on the beach patrol for new guards, so it was cool to then impart such knowledge on to the rookies and see them grow.
  • “Do it for the story!” Those were once wise words, then stupid ones, and now really wise words. Each of us gets to write our own life’s story.

As far as education, I was a pre-med / biology major as an undergraduate before changing to a focus in the health sciences. The pre-med track included genetics and some other really cool courses that widened the scope for my mind prior to entering the health sciences and eventually, graduate school for kinesiology (physiology). I studied directly for what I am doing right now. Since changing majors, every bit of study has been intentional. The journey has been magical.

When pertaining to personal experiences, I’m drawing a blank. Perhaps when I allow for some down time to reflect, we can open the “personal experiences” vault. Like an old library, we need the right index cards to track down those novels! I haven’t thought much about past personal experiences in a long time. Too focused on the present, with an eye on the future. Maybe my personal and professional are one in the same. I’d need to step back from the easel to be certain, though.

What problems do you consistently solve for your patients?

To state it grossly, “Make a hip act like a hip, a shoulder act like a shoulder; connect the two with the core, then move everything together, powerfully.” Then, most of the time, you’ve got a physically well-functioning person! Mostly everything else stems from that sequence regardless of what type of athlete a person is (we’re all athletes). The most important part, though, is the person behind the eyes – how they perceive the world, what they like, how they learn. That is often the most complex problem to solve, but also the most important and most gratifying. Again, earning someone’s trust opens the door to really completing them as a person.

Also, myth busting. There is so much truth that gets lost as health and fitness news trickles into popular culture. Buzz terms are catchy, but often even more so misleading. Nowhere is information more important than concerning one’s health. Mass awareness is great for garnering interest; mass generalizations, though, simply do not work for individuals, and these generalizations often cause more harm than good.

Who is your ideal patient and why should they connect with you?

The crazier, the better! Just kidding. Sort of. Every person has her/his own unique qualities, and getting to know the person behind the body, the goals, the ailments, that makes it all worthwhile.

As far as ideal patient, “Que sera, sera.” If the chemistry is there, then that’s amazing, a bonus. If there is no chemistry but someone has a need, I am more than happy to help. That’s the mission. I believe people need their health and wellness experiences to be customized in a manner in which they receive the greatest tangible benefit. Something sustainable that clients/patients can take with them with they leave our office. A lot of what I do is educational, so you really have to tap into how individuals learn to maximize someone’s potential.

Call us today to schedule a consultation with our integrative physiologist, Timothy A. Coyle, Jr. M.S. 347-497-7655