The graduate and athlete of Barnesville, Minnesota, Native and Concordia College has no limitations. She has worked with athletes of all skill levels – from elite teens working to make it big on their racetracks to college players and even Olympians.
“I think I jumped through doors when there weren’t any doors and then sometimes I would build a house, create a door, and then jump through doors,” she says, sitting in one of her treatment rooms at Elevate Human Potential, a Moorhead -Practice that practices this focuses on performance and health rather than pain and illness.
After completing her bachelor’s degrees in biology and movement physiology from Concordia, Wolford graduated with honors from Palmer College of Chiropractic West in San Jose, California, and received her masters in exercise science and rehabilitation from Logan University, Missouri.
After graduating from high school, Wolford had the opportunity to fly to Fort Lauderdale, Florida to work with athletes on the Association of Volleyball Professionals (AVP) – the beach volleyball domestic tour. She currently sits on the board of directors for the AVP Sports Medicine team and directs half of the venues in the United States. She works with a diverse team of medical professionals to ensure that every athlete in competition receives the proper care.
During her stay in Florida, she adapted and worked with a multiple Olympic beach volleyball player. She was selected by US Beach Volleyball to travel with the US Olympic team. She has practiced around the world and at many events for the past decade to make sure the players stay at their peak levels.
Karla Wolford operates Elevate Human Potential in South Moorhead. David Samson / The Forum
But during her Masters degree, she noticed a missing component of grooming when it came to athletes.
“My entire project with my Masters was the bridge between rehab and performance because I saw that there was a big gap,” says Wolford. “People regularly went through chiropractic or physical therapy and then just cleared them up for their sports or activities. They took them to their daily living activities run by insurance companies, but they didn’t bring them with them in their daily activities. They don’t have them brought to their potential or what they expected. And then I saw their injury rates come back. “
She practiced in cities across the country, from Chanhassen, Minnesota and Vail, Colorado to Seattle before returning to Fargo-Moorhead a little over five years ago. She now owns Elevate Human Potential and EHP CrossFit in Moorhead.
“I decided to bring my passion and all the things I have learned over the past decade to the Fargo-Moorhead area because I felt like I had a lot to offer and share with the community, with everyone the things I’ve learned and places I’ve learned, “she says. “I had the feeling that we had to let sports medicine do something different here.”
Wolford’s Moorhead practice dates back to her time in various positions that she held throughout her life.
“When I opened my practice here five years ago, I was really looking at what I was doing in my practice before,” she says. “I found that I really enjoyed the way I work with professional athletes. They are great people, but it wasn’t necessarily the people – it was the kind of work I could do.”
These athletes didn’t come to her when they were already broken. Instead, they sought help to make sure their bodies were moving in a way that was appropriate for what they needed to do.
It is this way of thinking about taking precautions before the necessary care that has shaped Wolford’s technology.
“They weren’t always injured or collapsed,” she says. “You thought about how I can prevent injuries and how I can make myself faster, stronger, healthier, more flexible and more mobile to do what I have to do.” She says. “Then I had this revelation of what I really want to do.”
Instead, she works to make customers “feel at home again” and address those “agonizing” things in order to bring them back to their full potential.
“Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or just want to play volleyball with your friends on Wednesday nights, if your shoulder isn’t working, you can’t play volleyball,” she says. “Or if you do, you’ll pay for it for weeks.”
Wolford has created an environment at Elevate Human Potential that encourages patients to become more aware of their bodies and to seek help when things just don’t feel right. Sometimes it starts from scratch.
In addition to helping people relieve pain, Elevate Human Potential offers a membership-based sports benefits package that helps members learn how to care for themselves in ways that are good for them and the activities they love matters.
“The point now is not that you are in pain, you notice things about your body,” says Wolford. “You’re getting more and more conscious, and that’s something I try to get people to understand – if you don’t feel symmetrical, if you don’t feel even, or even, tell me. I can probably get ahead of the wheels work with you fall down. “
Everyone is different when they visit, she says, but many are “tired of being hurt or hurt” and willing to do anything to get better.
“They just want to take care of themselves,” she says.
While this is less of a necessary, more of a preventive type of care, the message is the same: prioritizing health is key.
“I really think when people start looking at their health they have to start looking and investing more in their health,” she says. “I’m not just saying this because I’m a doctor and a gym owner, but because I know when people don’t prioritize their health, I can see it. I can see what’s happening. And I can see that.” Joy in the human world when they prioritize their health. It’s just this very different way of thinking how you approach life. “
Wolford says she sees the other side of things too.
“It’s difficult for a provider when people don’t give their health a priority,” she says. “It costs extra time, effort, money and finance, but in the end you will miss work less, be sick less often, and live healthier lives.”