How to Take Care of Your Hands

06 Dec 2015, Posted by CrossFit Carbon in Blog

The winter season is here which calls for dry, cracked skin, and with that can come calluses. Callus care is super important as a crossfitter. If you don’t take care of them then you could RIP which is extremely painful and can prevent you from being able grip any kind of bar or ring for a couple days.calluses

There are 2 qualities that make your hands susceptible to ripping– you either have soft hands with little or no callus build-up, or too much callus build-up that makes bumps or ridges on the surface of your hands. You need the happy medium – deep but smooth and supple calluses that protect the hands but remain intact when working.  Here are some tips in order to have that happy medium for your hands.

  1. Preventative: Avoid using a ton of chalk! Sorry to burst your chalk dust bubble, but excessive chalk can actually lead to tearing. Sweaty chalk hands cause more slipping which causes more tears. Also, when you’re done with your chalked up hands be sure to WASH THEM. Chalk leftovers can cause your skin to dry out and crack, which is painful and causes ripping/tearing.pumice stone
  2. Preventative: If you’re hands are prone to tearing or being sore, you can try gymnastic wraps or taping your hands. Actual cloth wraps or gloves may be beneficial if you tape your hands regularly for high rep/high volume work.
  3. Post WOD: Use a pumice stone: While in the shower, bath, or simply run your hands under water for 10 min., take a pumice stone and rub it on the white parts, the bumps, or the calluses of your hands. If anyone has ever gotten a pedicure, this is the same technique used on your feet after the soak them. Start gentle and increase intensity as needed. It shouldn’t hurt. Also, you want to use caution in how long you do this. It shouldn’t be for 10 minutes straight. You don’t want to risk overdoing it and causing your skin to be too sensitive and sore.burtsbeeswax
  4. Post WOD: Try using a wax-like substance such as Burt’s Bees Hand Slave. This is a substance you put on your hands when you aren’t going to be using them much, such as before bed. This substance is thicker than lotions and moisturizers, to help tackle serious tears, rips, and cracks.

For more check out this article out or this article with step-by-step instructions from CrossFit.

Tackling the Holidays

17 Nov 2015, Posted by CrossFit Carbon in Blog

You know you’ve heard it, Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” Song on the

turkey_trot radio or in stores, which only means one thing, the holidays are fast approaching. So this is a perfect time to hold true to our goals and gains we want to make! Sometimes we need reinforcements when we know times are going to be busy and stressful and that’s what we’ve got for you in this blog!

1. Try to stick to your typical workout routine as much as possible.

  • Keep hitting the gym! Your body needs just as much exercise as before so try to stick to the number of days you were getting into the box. Also, if you are unsure of what workouts to do during the holidays, join your neighborhood or town local events such as 5k Turkey Trots or other charity run/walks. This will get you out of the house and staying active! Lastly, if you know you’re going to be out of town or traveling try to plan ahead by scheduling a place to drop-in or creating your own at-hotel/at-home workout.

Check out for daily WODs


Can’t find a box or gym to go to? Click here for some sample at-home or on the road WODs, including foodtabata or HIIT (high interval training)

2. Stay on your healthy eating plan: Try to stick with the food and meal prep you’ve already got. Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to over-indulge with everyone else. If you eat before you go out you won’t be as inclined to eat. OR try to limit how often you and your family or friends are eating when you get together. Try suggesting other activities that aren’t centered around food for the holidays i.e. ice skating, sledding, indoor water parks, movies, etc.

3. Along with that, pick one or two HIGH calorie items and try to avoid those- like what you ask? One thing you can limit is your alcohol intake including eggnog and fruity drinks. Try to stay away from the beverages that have an excess of sugar in them. It’s okay to drink and enjoy yourself, but it can help keep your waistline in check and limit your overindulgence of unnecessary calories. Also, if you’re wanting to feel good in the morning, without a headache or guilt, then try to go 1:1 with your beverages. For instance every alcoholic drink (i.e. wine, champagne, beer) have a glass of water after. This will keep you’re able to enjoy yourself, while helping yourself stay on track.

*Tips to prevent overeating include:

ice skating

  • ~Take a pause- while you’re eating try to pause and really enjoy your food. The break will allow your brain and stomach to catch up with your mouth. You can also ask, “Am I really hungry?” If you take 10 seconds to decide if you’re hungry or not, it’ll help slow your brain and cravings down and you won’t be as quick to toss those extra cookies in your mouth.
  • ~Walk around- If pausing while you’re eating doesn’t work you can also get up and walk around or go to the bathroom. Doing this will change the environment so you won’t be surrounded by treats and food. It will also, again, allow your stomach to signal to your brain whether or not you’re still hungry. This way you’ll be better able to realize if you’re full.

holiday eating4. Also check out this website which talks about why the holidays are great for trying to make gains. All this extra caloric intake can be helpful for those who are trying to put on weight! One tip they suggest is to not have more than 2 days of overeating and also trying to get a workout in when you know you’ll be consuming large meals.  

Below are some links to additional info.

  1. Delicious and Healthy Holiday Recipes
  2. Additional Healthy holiday tips
  3. Here’s an article to de-stress and enjoy you holidays by making 4  Commitments to yourself.


Pregnant & CrossFitting

28 Oct 2015, Posted by CrossFit Carbon in Blog

Kim Hsu (left) with visiting member, Kristien Eide (right) at Crossfit Carbon

An Interview with Kim Hsu

A few months ago we posted a previous blog about new mom’s who crossfit and how they manage their time; having to balance work, working out, and their new/expanding families.  Awesomely enough, it gained a lot of positive attention and feedback through Carbon’s community SO we figured we would reach out to another one of our members, Kim, who has been continuing to crossfit throughout her pregnancy to gain her perspective and experience. Kim’s interview is below and needless to say, she’s another one of our moms who continues to do it all, and do it all well! Let’s see if she’s got any tips or fun stories.

Thanks for doing this interview Kim! Let’s start with a little background…

How long have you been at Crossfit Carbon and/or crossfitting?

I’ve been Crossfitting for about 2.5 years and have been at Carbon for the past 2 years.

How far along are you in your pregnancy and what are you and John expecting (don’t tell us if it’s a secret! )?

I am currently 24 weeks pregnant and we are very excited to be expecting a baby girl in January!

That’s great news! So how has crossfitting been different when you’re pregnant?

The biggest change during my first trimester was that I had to scale to avoid getting lightheaded. This actually led to a fellow Crossfitter (aka Lisa “Pregdar” O) figuring out I was pregnant even before I’d seen a doctor! Early on, I took frequent “water” breaks and focused on keeping moving rather than speed or weight. Also, for the first time, I was so tired that working out was the last thing I felt like doing! Fortunately, unlike most women, I was most nauseous in the evening, so continuing our 5:30am WOD routine worked out. Oddly, I actually felt less tired on days that I worked out, but I did take more rest days when my body needed sleep/rest. Now that I’m in my second trimester, even though my body is changing quickly, I feel a lot stronger and more energetic!


Kim with her husband John

Leave it to one of our members to spot a pregnant crossfitter haha! We all look out for each other. But wow, good to hear you’re feeling stronger and energetic this trimester! Hopefully the second and third trimester keep going smoothly. So even though you’ve been feeling stronger and energetic, how did you decide to alter or scale your WODs?

Mostly I work out according to how my body feels. I’ve had the benefit of talking coaches and other moms who Crossfitted during pregnancy – there’s a wealth of experience and information at Carbon! Currently, the major change is that I no longer do sit-ups but have substituted knee raises. I also no longer do rope climbs to avoid the risk of falling. At some point, I’m sure I’ll have to modify burpees and push-ups as the baby bump grows.  

That makes sense. We all need to keep our bodies in check and recognize (pregnant or not) how we’re feeling that day. So what has surprised you about crossfitting during your pregnancy?

I’ve heard a lot of people say not to lift anything heavy and to assume an exercise routine of yoga/gentle walking while pregnant so I’d always assumed I would feel weak during pregnancy. On the contrary, I’ve been surprised at how great it feels to work out and how strong I feel. Also, I think now more than ever, Crossfit is a really important part of how I handle stress and unwind.

Crossfit is also totally applicable to life as well in weird and wonderful ways… I’ve actually caught myself wanting to take breaks during those eternal squat hold and dead hang exercises, and have had to stop myself, because I figure learning to breathe and not give up has to be good training for labor Today John and I were reading about how newborns need to be fed every 2-3 hours, including through the night, leading to generalized exhaustion among new parents. Having had a couple of these in the past week, of course John’s first thoughts are “Feeding baby is like those EMOM workouts. You just gotta do it when the beeper goes off, and the faster you get it done, the longer everyone gets to sleep in between.”

Haha your husband John has a great outlook! Let’s hope that mentality sticks. Okay, last ques12052497_10100351790851317_3008656797832940584_otion, any words of wisdom do you have for other women who crossfit during their pregnancy? Just listen to your body and do what feels right. Just like eating well and getting adequate rest, I think exercise is a key part of caring for yourself and indirectly, your family.  

BIG thanks again to Kim for her insight into motherhood and expecting. You’ve offered our Carbon community and others, a perspective about woding and remaining healthy for any stage in our lives. We’re happy you’re able to continue to workout with us. Congratulations on being pregnant! We can’t wait to meet your baby girl!

An Interview with Hilary

13 Oct 2015, Posted by CrossFit Carbon in Blog

Hilary made it to New Zealand!

Hi Hilary! You are one of our beloved Carbon members who, in July 2015, traveled overseas for a missionary trip. Currently, you’re in New Zealand for training and we would love to get to know more about you and your travels. Soon you’re going to be heading off to the Vanautu islands in order to begin your mission trip. But before we jump into your inspirational adventure, we’d like to give our readers a little background about yourself:

What’s your profession?

I am a critical care nurse at Advocate Condell Medical Center.

How/Why did you pick nursing?

Oh man, well I come from a family with 5 generations of nurses. But, I originally wanted to become a surgeon but after shadowing a few doctors I realized that a doctor may be the head of a hospital but a nurse is the neck and they can turn a doctor which ever way they want hahaha. But honestly, I just loved the depth a nurse can connect with patients and families; it’s not just providing medical care but providing holistic care (physically, mentally, and spiritually).

Tell us about your family-

My dad is German outdoors man who is a Community Pastor. My mom is a free-spirited Italian woman who is a Nursing Manager at Advocate Condell Medical Center (Renal and Oncology). My older sister has a background in teaching behavioral and special Ed and is a Missionary volunteering out of Perth Australia serving the Aboriginal youth for the past 3 years.

Wow, you come from a long line of professional “helpers” and givers in the community. It seems serving others and giving back is in your blood! What are your other hobbies?

Well besides CrossFit… I love to paint with acrylics or draw, be outdoors (kayaking/hiking/climbing).  I am involved with a few different church and ministry groups around Lake County. But one of my top hobbies would be my AMAZING furry footed dog Dakota.

How long have you been crossfitting? Since October 2013

Why did you start/how did you learn about crossfit?

The wonderful and insanely talented Alyson Favela one night at work finally convinced me to give it a try. And I got hooked, it was similar to the training I received in college for basketball but 10x more effective and 100x more fun.unnamed

Ah, our community members are the best, aren’t they? We’re happy she talked you into trying! So recently you’ve traveled to New Zealand/Vanautu, what for?

God really spoke to my heart to go bring holistic healing to the people of Vanuatu. So I was obedient and I came to NZ for training (on the culture, language, medical needs, etc). I came to discover that Vanuatu has a high incest and abuse rate with 70% of girls being victimized before the age of 17.  That was just one thing that broke my heart and committing 6 months of my life to helping was the least I could do.

That’s heartbreaking to hear, but you’re doing such good work, trying to educate and care for the victims and families. How have things been learning and adjusting to the new culture and what you’ll be doing?

Learning Bislama (the language of Vanuatu) has been funny; for instance “nam blong me Hilary”- is: my name is Hilary. “Bae yu mekem wanem tedei?”-is: what are you going to do today?…. sounds a lot like broken english.  I will be traveling through Santo island and the Torres Islands (which are primarily the more tribal islands) providing medical care, education, and sharing the love of Jesus (wound care, vaccinations, assisting in birth, neonatal care, nutrition, hygiene, triage, etc.) But the biggest thing will be coming alongside each tribe to understand them and listen to what they want/need and not what I think they want/need.

That sounds so exhilarating! You’re going to be so busy and on such a wild adventure. What, so far, do you love most about the work you’re doing?

It just is so humbling. It just is giving me an outward focus of what God intended life and community to be like. Just getting to know my own team (8 people from Germany, Norway, Mexico, England, Figi, New Zealand, and Canada) has been a blessing to see how different and unique all of our cultures and passions are. But also going to Vanuatu and seeing that their are so many people in this world that are just looking to be heard and loved.vanuatu kids

What’s the hardest part about being overseas?

I miss my community back home; I have made a short-term one here but I do miss my one at home.  I miss barbell therapy! I can not wait to get some lifting in come January. On a different note, it will be hard in Vanuatu to see abuse and that women have no value there. Not just because this is occurring, but because they believe that is what is normal and acceptable. So, I am challenged with knowing how to be loving and understanding to this while promoting light to be shined in to bring change.

We miss you too! It sounds like it will be challenging, but we know you’re strong and every day you’re making a difference.  Take it one day, one person, one family, at a time.

Alright, now what food and/or drink do you miss the most?

I miss meat! I am lucky to have meat once a day (and by once I mean .5oz of chicken/fish or 2 eggs).

You’re right, that’s not a lot of protein! We can definitely have a bacon party for when you’re back :) So, how has crossfit assisted you in preparing for and being on the island?

How has it not! To think of a few… physically it has prepared my body to endure hours of hiking, building wells, and carrying medical supplies to remote areas of the World. Mentally they have prepared me to expect the unexpected and when my body wants to stop my mind has the power to push me that extra bit.  And spiritually, CrossFit embodies community and family that ‘I am because we are’ mentality. We are here to sharpen one another and to celebrate each other’s joys and assist in one another’s weaknesses. It is all about being honest and real with yourself and allowing others to be a part of that.

You’re doing amazing work Hilary. We are so proud of you! We will be sure to have plenty of love, hugs, and (MEAT) ready for you when you come home. Be safe. To follow Hilary’s journey go to her webiste: for pictures, background/history, her blog, donate, and more!