Belles of the Brawl V: Katie Barry
Wednesday, July 26 2017
During the coming months, we’ll be highlighting our fighters in training for the upcoming Belles of the Brawl V in Boston on October 5th. They’ve committed to four months of fundraising and training in preparation to get in the ring and literally fight for a cure. Whether they've had first hand experience, their father has passed or their friend has put up a victory against the disease – they’ve all got a story to tell and they’ve all got a reason to fight. Below you’ll hear from Katie Barry, fighting out of Redline Fight Sports in Cambridge, MA.
Where are you from?
I grew up on the North Shore. I lived in Newburyport until I was 14 then my mother moved us to the rival town of Amesbury. It was difficult being at that awkward age in life and having to make new friends, especially when you come from the rival town! It took a little bit of time to prove I wasn’t evil
Where’d you go to college?
I spent a year at Worcester State, I had big dreams of being a nurse but realized it wasn’t for me. After that, I attended Wentworth Institute because I thought I wanted to be an interior designer… not so much! I eventually landed in Culinary School at North Shore Community College where I found my true calling.
Did you play any sports growing up?
I played softball. I was a pretty good hitter, my parents would call me Mo Vaughn. Sometimes, if I was lucky, I could catch a fly ball. I also tried to play basketball in grade school but eventually, everyone grew taller and I didn’t, so…eventually everyone grew taller and I didn’t, so…
What do you do for work?
I am a Personal Chef & Caterer. I am also currently in school to be a Certified Holistic Health Coach. My plan is to bridge the two into a career of helping others eat & live their way to good health. I genuinely love what I do; cooking for my clients and seeing the joy on their faces is why I continue to do what I do with pure love.
Why boxing? Did you ever picture yourself fighting?
A year and a half ago I hit the highest weight I had ever been and knew I needed to gain control of my health. I changed my diet and lost some initial weight but after a few months, the scale wasn’t moving and I knew I needed to find an exercise that I could get excited about. I happened to stop into a boxing gym around the corner from my apartment and although the first few weeks were absolutely terrible (I threw up a few times), I always left feeling great and looking forward to coming back. It made the scale move which inspired and motivated me.
Why on earth did you sign up to fight??
The first boxing coach I had mentioned Belles of the Brawl to me last year and took me to watch the 2016 fight. It ignited something in me and I was determined to do it this year. Now here I am, and I’m not sure what I got myself into!
You’re stepping in the ring to literally fight for a cure – where are you drawing your inspiration from? How has cancer affected you?
First and foremost, a lot of my inspiration is coming from within. I’ve literally fought for my health over the past year and a half, losing 50 lbs. and gaining a new perspective on what it means to live. I’m not done fighting though and this fight is giving me the push I need to keep going. Cancer has affected my family tremendously. My Nana and my Uncle Billy both passed from cancer in addition to my Mother, who died September 19, 2011, from undetected brain cancer. My mom’s cancer had originated as breast cancer when I was just 11 years old and had spread to her bones when I was 23. It completely devastated my life and through that devastation, I lost control of my life for a few years. One day, it finally clicked that she would want so much more for me. So while I show up for training every day for myself, I’ll be showing up in the ring on October 5th especially for my mom, fighting in her honor.
What is going to be the most difficult thing to give up during your training?
Being a chef, going out to eat, trying new restaurants, and eating everything on the menu is just what I do. Market research, it’s a necessary thing! Although it will be difficult, I’ve started a list of all the restaurants I cannot wait to indulge in AFTER the fight.
When you’re not throwing punches and training – what other hobbies/interests do you have?
I really like food photography. I am not a good photographer by any means but I do take lots of photos of my food and post them on Instagram… gotta “do it for the gram”! I also really like doing Sudoku, Crossword, and Kakuro puzzles – I got that from my momma. Hiking is always a relaxing and peaceful pleasure but can’t seem to find the time to do it frequently enough.
Who do you think is the most excited to watch you get punched in the face come fight night?
Honestly, it will probably be my trainer(s) by the end of this… as long as I fight back.
Be sure to check out her fundraising page here and wish her luck! Best of luck, Katie!