Meet Pauline Juhle, Owner of Crystal Coast Wellness & Performance [Interview]

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  • Runner running a business
  • Planner planning her schedule meticulously
  • Educator teaching herself, her staff, and her clients

Finding the proper motivation to start and finish a workout can be difficult, cant’ it? Choosing to take the plunge and start your own fitness business can be an even more daunting task with an even greater need for having the proper motivation.

Today, we’re talking to Pauline Juhle who will share his experience as an entrepreneur who entered the personal training world at a point of personal weakness yet received collegial support and developed a winning mentality that led to his running a successful fitness practice.

If you’re ready to grow and manage your business better, schedule a demo today.

Meet Pauline Juhle, Enthusiastic Runner

Pauline Juhle, Enthusiastic Runner

Schimri Yoyo: Welcome back, this is Schimri Yoyo with exercise.com, and we are continuing our series of interviews with fitness experts. And today, we have the pleasure of having Pauline Juhle, who is the co-owner of Crystal Coast Wellness & Performance, and also the owner of Because We Run in North Carolina.

So thank you, Pauline, for joining us today.

Pauline Juhle: Thank you for having me. I’m excited to be here.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, so let’s jump into it. How did you become passionate about fitness training?

Pauline Juhle: I was actually overweight as a child, and I got made fun of a lot, and it was one of those things that it—probably middle school—I just decided to take matters into my own hands and get healthy.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, and I know that you are a runner and that you’re very passionate about that.

Pauline Juhle: Yes.

Schimri Yoyo: Did you play any other sports growing up, or what sports do you play now?

Pauline Juhle: No, I am not very coordinated, so I think that’s why I really gravitated towards running because it doesn’t require a lot of hand-eye control. So, nope, I pretty much just run. I do weight lift. I love to weight train, but those would be my two big passions right now.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, and as an avid runner, what’s your favorite distance to run?

Pauline Juhle: I love the half marathon, that is my favorite, but I also do 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons. I’ve done an ultra, so—

And that’s something I’d like to do more of in the future, so I pretty much will take any of it.

Schimri Yoyo: Nice. And when’s the next race that you’re going to take part of?

Pauline Juhle: I actually don’t have one scheduled any time soon, so I’m kind of waiting to see how next year plays out. I’ve been really busy with some other stuff that’s taken me away from the running, so I’ve been focusing on my strength, so I’ll look into next year for a race.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright, maybe I’ll have to join you then.

Pauline Juhle: Come on.

Schimri Yoyo: Alright. And you have a degree in Biology, and a Master’s in Physical Therapy. What one class during your formal training and formal education was your favorite to take?

Pauline Juhle: I would say Anatomy and Physiology hands down was my favorite. It was really eye-opening, especially in physical therapy school when we did cadaver anatomy. To see how all those pictures of the muscles and ligaments and tendons actually go into your body and what it really looks like, I was just fascinated by those classes.

Schimri Yoyo: And do you think that they’re the ones that best prepared you for what you’re doing now?

Pauline Juhle: I would say so, yes. I would say so, yes, because it really is eye-opening to know that those pictures look so pretty, but the body doesn’t actually look like that. And then when you actually get in there and start talking about some of that anatomy and physiology and how everything works, it really does help prepare you for a job in personal training, physical therapy, anything movement-based because now you really know what’s going on when you’re having somebody do a specific exercise.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And who were some of your mentors as you were entering the health and fitness industry as a profession?

Pauline Juhle: My first and probably best mentor is the—when I went to work as a physical therapist, he had been my clinical instructor during school, and then they had hired me out of school. And he just really took me under his wing and helped me in my first two years of physical therapy and really showed me what to do, and I will never forget him.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, yeah, that’s great, so what is his name? Let’s give him a shout-out.

Pauline Juhle: His name is John and he lives in Georgia, and I don’t even know if he’s still practicing because I’m not down there anymore, but he was just an amazing person to help me. John Watson is his name.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. So now when you’re not training or running your businesses, what do you do for fun?

Pauline Juhle: I love the beach. So I live in eastern North Carolina, on the coast, and I spend every bit of my time that I can on the weekends on the beach. I also really, really love to read, so I will have a book in my hand wherever I am.

And then I love to hang out with my friends, and so we’ll go out and hang out on the beach together. We all are, all—we’re all pretty active, and so we’ll go out and do a race together. We’ll do something on the weekends, and let’s all have fun.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah. I feel like you would get along very well with my wife Becky. She’s very much a beach and book person as well.

book-on-beach

Pauline Juhle: Oh good, yeah, she can totally come to hang out here.

Schimri Yoyo: Right. Now, let’s think about your practice and your methodology of training. What one word would best describe your philosophy and methodology of wellness?

Pauline Juhle: Individualized.

Schimri Yoyo: Wow, that’s awesome, can you elaborate?

Pauline Juhle: So, I truly believe that each person is unique, and so if you come into something and you have these cookie-cutter approaches where you’re just going by this template or just this little recipe that you think is going to work, I don’t think that it works.

I think every person is very unique in their wants, their needs, their goals, their values, and you really have to take all that into consideration when you’re coming to them with a—whether it be a physical therapy program, a personal training program, a nutritional program—you really have to take into account the person and how unique they are, otherwise, it’s just not going to work.

Rest, Recovery, and the Right Nutrients

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And you actually led me to my next question. You mentioned nutrition, so how do you specifically address nutrition with your clients?

Pauline Juhle: So, my business partner at Crystal Coast Wellness and Performance is actually a registered dietician, so I handle it in sending them to her. In the state of North Carolina, the—

What you can do nutritionally is very limited unless you have an RD, so I stay in my lane.

I will give very general—like, obviously, you’ve got to watch how much you’re eating, make sure you’re getting enough protein, the right amount of other nutrients, but I’m really going to be sending them to my nutritionist, because she’s the one that’s going to be able to dictate exactly what they need, and she takes an individualized approach as well.

Schimri Yoyo: And what is her name too? Let’s show her some love.

Pauline Juhle: Her name is Jayme Limbaugh, and she’s pretty darn amazing.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s good, right. Now, what ways do you motivate yourself, and in what ways do you motivate your clients?

Pauline Juhle: That word motivation sometimes gets me, because I don’t know that I truly believe in motivation. Like, I don’t wake up every day and go, “I’m so motivated to go work out.” Some days I don’t want to. So I, for myself, am just like, “Do it.” Just do five minutes, 10 minutes.

If you still have no interest in working out today, then your body’s telling you something and you need to stop, and I’ll let myself have a rest day. But I do that for myself because I’ve been working out for so many years that I kind of know myself and what’s going to work and what isn’t.

So to motivate my clients, I really talk to them about consistency and how important that is to reach their goals, but I also highly encourage them to take one day off a week and let themselves do whatever they want. If they want to exercise, great. If they don’t, just sit on your butt all day on the couch and watch TV.

It’s one day that you can kind of let yourself just relax, and I think that mentally that can help us in, help us keep going the other six days of the week. And then you start to find that exercise feels good, so even on that seventh day, you find [that] you’ll go out for a walk, or you’ll do something.

Schimri Yoyo: I see. So, you sort of use the goal or that determination and that consistency as the motivation, as opposed to just always a willingness or an inherent desire?

Pauline Juhle: Yes, because I mean, I just don’t fully believe that it’s going to be something that you always want to do.

I think as adults, we have to realize that we have to do things whether we want to or not. We have to pay bills. We don’t want to, but we have to.

And so I think when you start to look at physical activity, proper nutrition, physical therapy, things where you’re taking care of yourself—when you start to look at them in a different light and you change your perspective and go, “Hey, this is something that either I get to do because I’m healthy enough to do it, or have to do because it means, in the long run, I’m going to be better off,” then I think that helps us get out of this, “Well, you’re supposed to be motivated, and I’m not motivated today, so I’m not going to do it.”

I think sometimes we use motivation as a pass, and I think we need to start kind of going, “Wait, no, I got to change how I look at this, and I’m just going to do it anyway.”

Schimri Yoyo: That’s great advice. My mother—I’m of Haitian background and Haitian descent. I was actually born in Haiti and my parents are from Haiti as well, and—

Pauline Juhle: Oh wow.

Schimri Yoyo: Yeah, she always said that “Necessity is always a great motivation.”

Pauline Juhle: Yeah, it is, and if you want to feel good, look good, move well, do all these things that we want to do… I mean, I always tell my clients like, “Do you want to be 90 years old and reliant on somebody to take care of you, or do you want to be reliant on yourself? Whichever you choose, that’s what you’re going to get, so if you want to be reliant on yourself, you just got to do it, what you got to do.”

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Schimri Yoyo: That’s great. Now, how do you find the right mix of pushing your clients to their physical peaks without burning them out?

Pauline Juhle: I really listen to my clients. And I don’t mean just listening to what they’re telling me, I mean I’m listening to little cues that they give me. I’m watching their verbal cues, their body language. When they come in and I can just tell that their mood’s off, I’m really not afraid to ask them what’s going on. I’m not afraid to go there if I have to, even if it’s maybe an uncomfortable thing.

I think sometimes as professionals we just always have this super upbeat attitude and we run in and we’re just like, “Come on, let’s go. Yay, it’s a great day,” and we don’t pay attention to that client that’s normally really upbeat and then that day they walk in and they’re just kind of down, and you don’t even bother to ask why, so I’m really, really good about asking them what’s going on, checking in with them throughout.

And then like I said, watching the body cues, I want to make sure I’m pushing them well, but I also don’t want to see those—a look of pain on their face, or look like they’re going to—like the shaky legs where they look like they might fall. Those are signs that you’re probably pushing them to their limit and need to back off a little bit, so I just stay very aware.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. And how is massage therapy incorporated as part of your coaching regimen?

Pauline Juhle: I highly encourage my clients to at least get a full body massage once a month. I think it is really important for healing. I think it is really important just for general movement and wellbeing, both mental, spiritual, and for the body. And I think it’s just important for us to take that time to really care for ourselves and pay attention to how our body feels because we don’t do that. I mean, as adults, we’re going.

And even kids, we’re going all the time, we need to kind of take that time to sit down and really think about, “How does my body feel?” And a massage therapist can do that for you, because they’ll get into spots you didn’t even know hurt, they’ll kind of find areas you didn’t even know were tight, and then it’s a way that you can start to address those in your training sessions, and with your professionals that you’re working with.

Schimri Yoyo: That’s good advice. You mentioned massage therapy as being part of the healing and recovery, so how do you address the concept of rest and recovery with your clients?

Pauline Juhle: I try to be very clear and really embrace the aspect of active rest in rest. I don’t think that we give it enough respect in the personal training world, and I talked about this with my co-workers a lot. We always see these workouts that are like, “Go, go, go,” we hear about HIIT, and we hear about all these interval trainings and people pushing themselves to their limits and never taking days off.

And I really try to use those as examples to people that that’s just leading you down this path of over-extending yourself, possible injury, over-training, and I really try to emphasize to them the importance that your body needs to rest.

So whether that be just making sure you’re getting eight hours of sleep a night, or if that means that every so often you need to kind of de-load and do a week that’s a little bit easier. But I try to incorporate that into my trainings. And when I’m working with people for months or years, we always have some down times.

Like I said earlier, I highly encourage my clients to take one day off a week where they’re just letting themselves be what they want to be. Because that’s just our body’s way of recharging and letting itself kind of repair from the damage we did during the week and build itself stronger. So I’m a really big proponent for education and just explaining some of the things that they may not be aware of in regards to rest and recovery.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay, yeah, because that high-intensity training, if you do that non-stop it’s not sustainable, and so-

Pauline Juhle: Right, people think that—like, it’s meant to be done two or three days non-consecutively a week. It’s not meant to be done every single day, and there are people that go out there and do it every day and they wonder why they’re not getting any stronger, they’re not getting faster, they’re not losing weight. I’m like, “It’s because you’re working your body too hard and it’s basically going into survival mode. If you want to make some of these changes, you really have to honor rest.”

Schimri Yoyo: Well, let’s talk about your business a little bit. How do you budget your time and energy between training and between entrepreneurship in your multiple businesses?

Pauline Juhle: I have a very strict schedule. I put everything into my planner and my schedule. If I don’t, I don’t do it. So the first priority is, to be honest, myself. I always schedule my workouts, so that is something to me that is just—it’s a commitment I keep with myself. And I’m not willing to let my workout suffer, and so I typically do mine first thing in the morning, and that’s just because I know it’s not going to get pushed aside. I won’t have somebody come interrupt, so that’s one of the things I really do for me.

And then throughout the day, I have blocks of time where I know I’m going to be training clients, and then I have blocks of time that I know I’m going to be working on administrative things. And I just really try to focus it that way. I wouldn’t say that I have a perfect balance.

I mean, people come in all the time and you’re putting out fires here and there, so I do spend time on the weekends and in the evenings working on the business. But it’s something I’m willing to do for the passion that I have in doing what I do.

Schimri Yoyo: Now, brag about yourself a little bit, what makes you and your team at Crystal Coast Wellness and Performance unique?

Pauline Juhle: I will brag about us. I think we are really unique first of all in our education. Every single person that is on staff at my business has at least a bachelor’s degree in some type of exercise science, and a lot of us have further education, either a master’s or continuing education certifications. We are really, really on top of educating ourselves and staying on top of the most recent research and literature in our field, so we stay on top of that.

And then secondly, I think that we’re all—we put our clients first, we want them to succeed. We’re not in this for the money. We’re not in this for fame. We’re not in this for fortune. We are in this because in our hearts we truly want to see these people succeed, and so we’ve—

We are all known to work extra hours. We go above and beyond for our clients. We will stay an extra 30 minutes. We will pull a program for them that they didn’t ask us for. We do research if they come to us and say, “Well, I had this knee problem in the past and I don’t think I can do this.” We’ll come up with ways to work around it.

So, I think everyone on my staff is really good about just going that extra mile for the client, and being able to kind of put themselves second.

Schimri Yoyo: Right. And what have you learned that you wish you would have known when first starting your own business?

Pauline Juhle: That it is hard. I mean, I knew it was hard. I didn’t kid myself into thinking that it was going to be easy, but I think sometimes in our heads we think it’s going to be a little bit more intuitive than it is. And it’s not. There’s a lot of aspects of business that I wasn’t prepared for because I didn’t have any kind of education in it. I literally just decided I was going to go out on my own and start a business.

And so I think had I known how difficult it was, I would have done a little bit more research into the process, and maybe looked for a mentor instead of just jumping into it without looking and just kind of going, “Oh.”

So I’ve learned a lot on the fly. So, I would maybe recommend finding a really good mentor and doing some planning before you jump in. But it’s worked out well for me. And so, I guess I can’t complain.

Schimri Yoyo: So, thank you again, Pauline, for your time, just a few more questions before we wrap it up.

Pauline Juhle: Okay.

Schimri Yoyo: In what ways do you leverage social media and technology to promote your services?

Pauline Juhle: So, we definitely utilize social media in just letting people get to know our business. We use Facebook and Instagram a lot, more than we use anything else. And we just like to—it’s a way that we can promote some of the services we offer, but we also like to just show what we can do.

We offer some workouts online. We introduce ourselves. We highlight our client successes. So we really just try to be present in the social media community. And we also use email a lot, and that’s a way to just, again, connect with our audience and connect with our clients.

We are always all about getting to know them and trying to deliver what works for them. We’re not in this for us; we’re in this to help people, and so we try to use social media and email marketing to really hit what people want and need, and then we try to deliver that.

Schimri Yoyo: And so what’s next for you and your businesses?

Pauline Juhle: We are really hoping to expand. We right now have just one office building in Morehead City, North Carolina, and so we’re hoping to expand out into some of the other areas. So, hopefully, in the next year or two, we’ll be able to have some offices in some other areas.

Schimri Yoyo: Okay. Well, lastly Pauline, do you have any resources, books, podcasts, magazines, that you’d recommend to our audience? And it doesn’t have to be restricted to just fitness-related, anything or any resources that you’ve found helpful.

Pauline Juhle: I actually do, so I don’t do a lot of podcasts or things like that. I’m a really big reader and I’m old school, so I just like to have a book in my hand. So, I would say that one of my favorite books that I’ve read recently is called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. That book was amazing. [It dives] into just how we develop habits. It was very eye-opening, not just from a business standpoint, but from a personal standpoint.

And then another one, business-wise, I would say is Start with Why by Simon Sinek. And that’s a way if you’re going to go out on your own and start a business, I think that’s a book you should get right away and read because it really helps drill down to why do you want to do what you want to do. And that way you’re going to have a better outcome as you start building your business.

So those are two of my best books that I would recommend. And then for just strength training and personal training, I love Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe, I think that’s a wonderful resource for those interested in strength training and personal training.

Schimri Yoyo: Those are some great, great titles, and we’ll definitely look them up. Pauline, thank you again for your time. We wish you much-continued success with your businesses, and who knows, maybe I’ll make my way down to North Carolina next year so that we can do a race together.

Pauline Juhle: You should do that, and bring your wife so she can come to hang out on the beach with me.

Schimri Yoyo: Definitely.

Pauline Juhle: Thank you so much.

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