Meet Kathleen “KATNISS” Callahan

Enjoy our new segment in the Weekly Grind so you can meet and learn more about our fighters! This week, meet Kathleen “Katniss” Callahan.

  1. When were you diagnosed with Parkinson’s?

    At 36 years old I began to exhibit symptoms of Parkinson’s while training for marathons. My running partner noticed my arm was pinned to my torso and would not swing and my right foot would veer in and trip me.  She insisted I swing my arm and straighten my foot and would elbow or remind me when I didn’t until I learned to be aware and developed appropriate muscle memory. I’m so grateful she helped me exercise my brain and body to combat  Parkinson’s for 20 years before I was officially diagnosed at 56.  After 3 falls in 2 weeks I saw a neurologist and at 56 was officially diagnosed.

  2. When did you start coming to 110 Fitness?

    In May it will be 7 years of attending 110 Fitness.

  3. What’s your favorite class or activity at 110?

    I love Tuesday’s and Thursday’s classes. The hour and a half classes include boxing, combinations, mitting, drumming and intense fitness training (agility, strength, climbing ropes, cardio etc.). I also participate in yoga, stretching, advanced boxing classes, line dancing and spin. I try to attend the events that 110 provides when I can (movies, painting, climbing, and bowling). I have met amazing friends volunteering as a corner person with my friends who have progressed a bit more and my fellow boxers.

  4. What do(did) you do for work?

    As a USAF brat we moved every year until we settled in Paradise, California in junior high school. I attended college at Chico State University/duel major Finance and Economics and at 21 went to work in the Napa Valley/San Francisco area as an industrial broker handling corporate investments for Wineries and others. 7 years later I was hired away by a company in Newport Beach to direct their GSA contracting Military division for Stu-111 technology for the military bases up and down the California coast.  I was ready for a change and jumped at the chance to move to Laguna Beach. I loved it.  In my thirties I met my husband, Kevin and within 10 months we were married and I had moved to Norwell Massachusetts!  We have been married for over 31 years and have a 26 year old a 30 year old and a dog Lola. I embraced being a stay at home wife and mother. After we raised our children and a several years employment gap I was pleasantly surprised to find a job as Director of Corporate Sales at a start up. I remained there until I was diagnosed with PD. My husband Kevin comes from a great family of 7 children who are scattered throughout New England and the East Coast. We built a house on Pleasant Lake 30 years ago and spend lots of time with family and friends there. Kevin recently sold his Commercial Building company after 38 years and we are excited about doing more traveling. Two years ago, I survived 2 cardiac arrests while in a remote location. I am doing well now and believe that a strong body helped me survive.

  5. What would you like us to know about you and your family?

    Our family has always been adventurous.  Kevin and I still love to run, swim, wake surf, water ski, hike, back country ski, cross country ski and travel with friends and family. I hope to continue with our adventures for as long as possible We are working on completing the Maine fourteen 4000 foot climbs.  My favorite mountain climb so far is Kahtadin. I love to walk our dog, read, play games, make jewelry, see plays, concerts, dance performances and go to museums.

  6. Any fun hobbies you’d like to share?

    Since being diagnosed I have been able to keep up with all the activities I loved doing before PD.  I am experiencing progressive changes but remain optimistic.  I have challenged myself to fight back even adding a few new adventures(skydiving, riding the NE Parkinson’s Ride including the century (100 Kilometer) last year, completing Spartan events and other obstacle events, and organized beach retreats and holiday brunches for fellow boxers and caregivers with two of my 110 buddies.

  7. How has 110 Fitness impacted your life outside of the gym?

    It would be and understatement to say that the community at 110 has positively effected my life.  Brett and Anna and other staff have truly devoted themselves to helping us mentally, physically and emotionally navigate PD. I am very thankful for my kids, husband, family, friends and 110 community!