Dr. Karla Wolford is Fusing Fitness and Philanthropy

Written by: Brady Drake

Karla Wolford is a Doctor of Chiropractic, holds a Masters in Sports Science and Rehabilitation, is a Licensed Chiropractic Acupuncturist, a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and the owner of Elevate Human Potential and EHP Performance in Moorhead. She has competed at the CrossFit regionals four times. She was named the “fittest female doctor in the world” by CrossFit in 2017 and 2022. The most recent honor came after she finished second in the World for the 35-39 year old Master’s Quarterfinals and 13th in the Masters Semininals.

What do you support?

BIO Girls

“We started hosting their strength and conditioning cross-training component in 2020. Since then, I’ve actually started writing the strength and conditioning programming that goes out to their additional host sites as well. We’re working with them to host their teen version coming up this summer. We believe in and support their mission. We think that if we can help work with girls on their physical, mental, and emotional health, they’re just going to be so much better off coming into this community. We want to support that.”

“I grew up in a smaller area, and there was bullying, and a lot of name-calling and cattiness that was happening in some of those later elementary school years. It definitely took a big toll on my confidence and the way I thought about myself. I never had any serious bouts of mental illness, but I look back and there were definitely bouts of depressive times and things that I went through. And I think having a mentor, maybe other than my parents, that could have helped me through that and led me through some of those tougher times and made me realize that I am worth it and that I was beautiful inside and out, would have been a good message to hear.”


Heroes Compass

“They really help support both veterans and different service personnel like police, fire rescue, and dispatch with mental health and suicide awareness. We did a 22K ruck, which is where you walk with at least 22 lbs on your back or with a vest on. It’s 22 lbs to represent the average number of veterans who commit suicide each day. We went from the military cemetery up in north Fargo all the way to EHP back in October and helped raise funds. We’re allocating those funds towards veterans or service personnel who want to come to EHP who might need adaptive equipment or might need adaptive programming, depending on whatever they’re dealing with.”

“We’re also looking forward to working with Heroes Compass in our upcoming Row-a-thon as well future events. From these funds, we can provide scholarships so that they can come in every day of the week. We want to help them find a place of camaraderie. We have a number of military service personnel who currently come to EHP and we definitely know how big of an impact it’s been on them. It’s a stress outlet.”


Able Games

“This is another one we contribute to. Connor McGovern’s Organization, ABLE provides programming in local schools where they have able-bodied athletes or kids work with kids who are showing what their abilities are. The ABLE Games are really about bringing that competition floor and that spirit to everybody, no matter their ability level.”

“At their competitions, they have coability divisions where everyone can compete against one another. I was pregnant last year and I competed with a gal who goes to our gym. She’s got a cognitive disability, but she also has cerebral palsy. She is also extremely fit. She actually competed in the scaled division, and she did awesome.”

“We just really love their mission and want to support it. One of our coaches, Jenny Benesh, was the head of judging and really helped lay out the format for them on a volunteer basis. She does an excellent job of running events.”

“EHP stands for Elevate Human Potential. And it doesn’t matter what ability or disability you have—we want you to reach your full potential. So we do that.


Did you know?

EHP is a medical fitness facility. This means that everybody who comes to the facility undergoes a sports physical, movement screening, and fitness assessment. From that, you get an exercise prescription. This allows you to use HSA and flex spending for your membership.

The Moorhead Police Department Pals Program

“We had 16 kids come in to workout with a few officers in the group throughout the summer. The officers provided mentorship and they worked out together to show them that they were on the same team and that they wanted them to succeed. A lot of the kids that were coming in were good kids, but they made bad decisions here or there. After the physical fitness components of the day, we always had a mental health component that the officers would lead the kids through.”

“We hosted that program all last summer and the outcomes we saw were pretty incredible. We’re definitely looking forward to doing that in the summers to come.”


Hope Inc.

“They help kids and adults in the area that have limb discrepancy or that are in a wheelchair. They have competitive and non-competitive sports for people to participate in, but the big one is sled hockey—one of their athletes is actually trying out for the Paralympic team coming up, which is really cool. We have met with them and we’re discussing training programs for bringing in people who want to participate in these competitive sports, but might not have the trainer’s knowledge needed to train them physically for what they’re going to sustain in whatever sport they’re doing. Obviously, if you only have one arm, we need to treat that arm with respect, we need to get stronger, but we also can’t take you out of commission. So, we want to be safe and effective in the training that we’re doing with them.”


Holiday Throwdown

“For the last nine years we have hosted this event in the first week of December. It is a completely charitable event. This year, we had 152 people come in, which is the most we’ve ever had.”

“We take 100% of the proceeds that come out of that event, and we give them away. Every year, we poll our athletes to figure out where they want the money to go. We’ve done everything from Toys for Tots to Dakota Boys Ranch, CCRI, and 4 Luv of Dog Rescue. Every year, it’s been a different organization.”

“It’s a really cool event and it’s not just EHP members that are invited—it’s everyone.”



“Every Giving Hearts Day we do a Rowathon. We row from 5 a.m. until 9 p.m. People bring in teams and we aren’t doing it for one particular nonprofit or charitable organization. We allow you to come in and bring your team in and pick the nonprofit you want to raise money and awareness for. We just ask you to participate and donate on that day.”


EHP Performance

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Brady is the Editorial Director at Spotlight Media in Fargo, ND.