Photos by Kayleigh Omang
For many chiropractors, opening a practice that specializes in caring for the musculoskeletal system would be enough. Very few would operate their own chiropractic practice alongside a CrossFit gym that accommodates every level of athlete while offering yoga classes, various tools for recovery and supplements for sale at the front desk. However, Karla Wolford, owner of Elevate Human Potential and EHP CrossFit in Moorhead, does.
“I definitely see when people come in, they come in for a purpose,” said Wolford. “Then they realize ‘wow, you guys offer a lot of stuff here.’ That makes me smile.”
Wolford began her career as a chiropractor in Temple, Texas while working in a traditional hospital setting. However, the former Concordia College undergraduate quickly realized that she was looking for something different in her career.
“I quickly realized that my morals and standards didn’t align with what the hospital and insurance setting wanted me to do and what insurance dictated that I do,” said Wolford. “I decided that when I moved back here that I wanted to open my own practice where I could care for my patients with the morals and standards that I thought were applicable.”
That’s why Wolford, who was sidelined with a broken foot at the time, began the process of opening up her two-sided business in November of 2014. Elevate Human Potential and EHP CrossFit were opened just one month later.
Opening two businesses in just one month’s time would be a daunting challenge to many, but Wolford is no stranger to picking things up quickly. The former three-sport collegiate athlete began her CrossFit career in 2012 and in seven short years, placed 16th in the United States and 25th in the world in the women age 35-39 division in 2019. All while running two businesses and competing professionally in CrossFit internationally.
“When I do things, I don’t do them half-heartedly,” said Wolford. “I do them full-heartedly, sometimes to a fault.”
Services Offered by Elevate Human Potential
- Manual work
- Myofascial release
- Chiropractic acupuncture
- Dry needling
- Gait analysis
- Biomechanical assessment
- Return to play
With such a go for it attitude, it’s no wonder as to why Wolford offers so many products and services across both of her businesses. However, Wolford has learned that a focus on core products needs to come first and accessory products need to be trialed and discussed with clients by using things like surveys before being fully implemented.
When Wolford comes up with something different that she can offer her athletes, she runs it through a pilot program. If the pilot is a success, Wolford will offer the product or service going forward. If it is not, she may scrap it and move on to something else or tweak it and re-offer it in a different way.
“Sometimes what we think people want, they want but they might want it in a different way,” said Wolford.
Services Offered By EHP Performance
- Crossfit classes
- Elevate class
- Littles training (ages 3-5)
- Kids training (ages 5-11)
- Teens training (age 12 through high school)
- Contract work through the military and local schools
- Adaptive athlete class for people with cognitive and physical disabilities
- Body transformation challenge
“I’m one of those people that wants to do everything and offer everything,” said Wolford. “I had to do a little bit of a check and say ‘you’re not Super Woman, you can’t do everything.’” In order to find that balance and continue to make her business feasible, Wolford says she worked on separating her wants from her needs while working with an advisory board to help her with some of the financial aspects of the business. “I’m about people, products and not necessarily about what the cost is to us.”
That focus on people and products has driven Wolford through entrepreneurship and its rough patches.
“You always think your path to success is this straight linear line, but really it’s this squiggly line with a lot of cul-de-sacs and dead ends where you have to turn, reverse and get back out of it and find that trajectory again,” said Wolford.
In order to get back on track during some of her rough patches during her entrepreneurial journey, Wolford turned to organizations like the SBA and The Emerging Leaders Program in order to get back on track with her businesses.