Get To Know Debra Groehler

A former boot camper let’s us in on what Progression means to her and how to deal with fear and insecurity in your workouts.  Meet Debra Groehler.


What do you do for a living?

I am an Assistant Olmsted County Attorney.  I represent Olmsted County Social Services in child protection cases.

What’s your favorite thing to do outside of the gym?

My favorite thing to do outside the gym is spend time with family and friends.  And I love to travel.

What made you decide to try Progression?

My friend Karla was doing a boot camp at Progression and encouraged me to try it.  I signed up for a boot camp and after getting over the initial unbelievable soreness I experienced, I decided to continue going to Progression.

How long have you been at Progression?

I have been at Progression since February 2015.  That’s when I started boot camp.

What was your experience with fitness like prior to Progression?

Prior to joining Progression, my exercise consisted of running (very slowly) and swimming laps.  I have completed several half-marathons, but I was getting frustrated that my times were not improving and I felt stuck.


What was your biggest fear when you started at Progression?

I have always had trouble getting myself to work out in a class or at a gym because I am very self-conscious and I have struggled with my weight for the longest time.  My biggest fear when I started Progression was that I would stick out like a sore thumb and people would wonder what the heck I was doing there.

Favorite cheat day meal?

My favorite cheat day meal is a burger, fries, and a beer.  The Marvin burger at Newt’s is amazing.

What goal(s) are you currently chasing?

I would like to be able to do a pull up someday.  I would also like to complete a 5K in 30 minutes or less.

What’s the hardest part about your fitness journey right now?

The hardest part is getting frustrated and embarrassed when I cannot complete a movement.  I have no patience and I expect to be good at things immediately, which is a ridiculous expectation.

What’s one thing your fellow CFP’ers would be surprised to learn about you?

One thing people might be surprised to know about me is that I was a French major in college and spent a semester in the South of France (this has been really helpful in my legal career – NOT!)

What’s your favorite piece of advice you’ve gotten from a coach at Progression?

My favorite piece of advice was from my boot camp coach, Nicki Schafer.  I remember her telling me to stop being negative about my body and to start focusing on perfecting the movements, becoming stronger, and realizing what my body can do.  This has really helped me.

How has your outlook on health/fitness changed since joining Progression?

I have tried to take the above advice and not let my insecurities stop me from getting my workouts in.  Progression has become a very important part of my weekly routine.  I am a better, happier person when I work out.  Exercising helps me deal with stress and I look forward to seeing the people I have gotten to know at Progression.

What has been your fondest memory during your time at Progression?

My fondest memory is Nog Fest this past year.  It was the first event I participated in.  It was so inspiring to see everyone working out and having fun… while supporting a good cause.

Why do you think you’ve stuck with Progression?

I have stuck with Progression because it is the most supportive and encouraging gym I have ever been to.  I have met so many amazing people there who inspire me and amaze me with their fitness, strength, and discipline.  The fact that Progression also gives back to the community is icing on the cake.

What would be your one piece of advice for someone who’s just joining Progression?

My advice for someone new to Progression is that they should not be intimidated.  Give it a try and see what all the fuss is about!


fill out this form to get started >>

Take the first step towards getting the results that you want!