Kristin ‘K.C.’ Carlberg

Photo courtesy Kristin "K.C." Carlberg

It’s all right to be a little selfish when fitness and exercise become a priority in your life. Personal trainer and founder of TRY Fitness, Kristin “K.C.” Carlberg, believes that maintaining a fitness program that fits your lifestyle can have an enormous effect on confidence and self-esteem, which leads to a more positive impact on the people you surround yourself with and care for. Concentrating on women’s fitness, TRY Fitness was created 17 years ago and continues with its same mission of improving women’s overall quality of life. TRY Fitness’s inception budded from Carlberg’s former work as a physical education teacher.

“Most of the teachers I worked with didn’t seem like they had an outlet, so I thought a co-ed training would be good, but some women can be intimidated by that environment. I wanted to focus on their needs and create an environment where they can excel and feel comfortable in being that vulnerable,” says Carlberg, who was featured on MidWeek‘s cover Feb. 22, 2008.

TRY Fitness has grown from a single group-training program to a circuit of opportunities with more than 12 programs per year. TRY Fitness also helps train and prepare women for the Na Wahine Triathlon, the only all-woman triathlon in Hawaii.

“I think, with the level of media and information now, people are more aware of the importance of exercising and eating right. It used to be that women were not making a priority for themselves. Now it is much more common for women to really value themselves, knowing it’s OK to have goals like their husbands or children,” says Carlberg.

She also is making herself a priority these days. “I will be turning 50 next year, and my goal is to do an Ironman in my 50th year. I’ve been training people to do it, and now it is my turn to really take the time and do that for myself,” she says.

Accomplishing an Ironman finish would be an incredible feat for any athlete, but for Carlberg, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer less than five years ago, an Ironman finish would be plain remarkable and something anyone would have to commend her on.

“I feel very fortunate, I feel healthy, all my checkups have been going well,” she says. “Since the end of treatment, I’ve really allowed myself to enjoy life and actually value the importance of taking care of myself, and try to give that message to clients and participants.”

If your own fitness has been lagging lately, Carlberg’s simplest recommendation is to first begin with a commitment to yourself, followed by getting out there and just walking by yourself or with a group of friends.

“There are plenty of women who feel similarly,” she says. “If you do it together, you can make that level of accountability to yourself.”

To get a better feel for what TRY Fitness may be able to offer you or for more information about the Na Wahine triathlon festival, slated for Sept. 16, visit