Gym says 'me too,' creating women's empowerment classes

Nicole Johnson

MOORHEAD, Minn. (KVLY) -- A Moorhead, Minnesota business is taking a stand for women in the community.

The #MeToo movement has sparked many people to share their stories about sexual assault. Meanwhile, the owner of a Crossfit gym in Moorhead wants to attack the problem another way: by empowering women.

The owner of Elevate Human Potential Crossfit gym, Coach Karla is also referred to as Dr. Solum, and Karla Solum the professional athlete. But, she hasn't always been so driven.

"When I was 24, I was drugged and brutally raped. After this happened, all I could think about is, this doesn't happen to people like me. I come from a good family, I get straight A's," she said.

Solum shared her story publicly for the first time at the Fargo (N.D.) Chamber of Commerce Women’s Connect meeting.

"After this happened, I felt shame, and shame will paralyze you,” she said. “I didn't feel worthy of anything and for quite some time, I was reckless in my decisions."

The courage Solum found to be able to stand up and share her story is the same courage she wants to give other women.

"Crossfit gave me my life back," she said.

The workouts that brought her healing sparked classes she will soon be offering at her gym.

"It's specially meant for women who want to be in a safe and positive environment, and really work on themselves and building self-esteem and self-confidence," Solum explained.

Area agencies that help rape and abuse victims will be referring women to the classes, but they are open to other ladies who've experienced other hardships too.