Meet RockDoc Karla (Solum) Wolford DC, MS, CCSP, CSCS, ICSSD, CFL-1 & 2.
In the 2017 CrossFit Open you were voted fittest doc in the world. How do you keep fit?
I make it a point in my life. I take care of myself first because without my physical and mental capabilities I wouldn’t be able to take care of others. I train in CrossFit around 5 times per week and anywhere from 1-3 hours per day – depending on the time of year and my schedule.
Karla finished 260th in the world and 13th in the North Central Region in this year’s CrossFit Open. She’s heading to Regionals in Nashville Memorial Day Weekend to compete in the semifinals for the third time.
How did you get introduced to CrossFit? What do you like most about the sport?
I actually went into a CrossFit in Vail Colorado to do movement screens on their athletes for my sports chiropractic job. I was allowed treat them if I came in and tried it for a week, so I reluctantly tried it out. I was scared because I had been a college athlete and I didn’t want to make a fool of myself; I didn’t think I would be able to do it!
I love that no matter what level people are at, we push each other to become better day in and day out. I have since taken up the motto “better than yesterday.” I love the odd object events. I grew up on a farm so anything random they throw our way I get really excited about!
How are you training for Regionals?
I am preparing similarly to how I prepare throughout the year. I’m training about an hour a day more than usual, which equates to about 2.5 hours per day. As I’m getting older, I know my body’s limits and spend more time on yoga, ROMWOD and mobility – as far as a recovery aspect – and make sure I eat enough food. Training hard seriously takes a large amount of healthy food!
What are your must-have training tools you use for CrossFit?
I keep a RockBall in my right shoe to make sure I keep my plantar fascia rolled out on the daily, I love RockBands for mobility, HookGrip tape when needed and other RockTape to hold me together when competition gets rough!
What do you think is the most underrated warmup routine? Cool down?
I think doing appropriate inventory of HOW your body is moving during a warmup is the most underrated tool. Instead of just going through the motions, really take note at how you are feeling and what joints are doing good and which ones are not so good. Any warmup can be a good warmup if you make it it that way! Listen to your body and then focus on those areas that were not feeling the best during your warmup. As far as a cool down, most people just don’t take time to do a cool down. That being said, as an affiliate owner, we do not program cool downs into most of our workouts simply because people want as much as packed in that hour as possible. I wish people would be more receptive to the whole fitness process, not just the parts that seem fun.
How did you get into chiropractic?
I always knew I wanted to help people and teach. When I first went into college I thought I wanted to be a general physician, but after shadowing a bunch of different professions I decided that chiropractors have a big say in the way they practice and were generally happy people, satisfied with their job and got to work on a bunch of really cool injuries.
Tell us about your practice. Where, and what do you specialize in?
I do a lot of sports chiropractic. I generally see athletes for injuries initially but then work with them on a performance basis. I do a lot of manual therapy in addition to biomechanical analysis, functional exercises that will help them to heal themselves. Recently I have gotten a lot more into doing individual nutrition plans for people and started into the functional medicine realm.
What was your first experience with RockTape?
Dr. Capo presented at Palmer West and was showing us pictures of how RockTape can treat bruising and edema and I thought, “no way does it work that well…” During my first spring break trip in chiro school one of our classmates rolled her ankle pretty badly so we applied RockTape for lymphatic drainage and it totally worked!
How do you use RockTape in your practice?
I mostly use it to encourage better movement patterns and to give my patients the feedback that I would like them to have at all times. It’s like having me telling you how to move every minute of every day! I also use it in acute injury settings for lymphatic drainage and bruising.
What is your go-to tape job? What is the most common condition you use tape for?
I use a lot of shoulder techniques throughout my CrossFit and volleyball communities. There are a lot of sloppy scapulas in the world!
What are your favorite RockTape pattern? Which is your favorite product?
I am a big fan of the animal prints! I also like putting RockSauce Fire right into the tape for a longer lasting effect. Besides what I do for treating patients, I personally love the Assassins, RockWrist and RockGuard Shins the best! They keep me in check when I work out.
If you could change one thing across the board when it comes to your patients, what would it be?
I would change the mentality that discomfort* is the only thing that matters. Dysfunction leads to discomfort* and I wish more people were receptive to working on dysfunctions vs. just discomfort* relief.
Where do you think chiropractic care is headed? What’s the future of it?
I definitely think we will be the movement specialists of the future as well as the primary care physicians for musculoskeletal injuries!