A native of Vail, Colorado, Katie was inspired by her father, late Major League Baseball outfielder, Ted Uhlaender. A man whom she says never let her win as a child, whether it was footraces or playing cards, she had to earn her wins. He taught her to be fiercely competitive and taught her to love the cattle farm the family owns in Kansas, which she continues to work today.
In 2010 after simply wanting to give the sport a try, she competed in her first weightlifting competition and won. She qualified for Olympic trials in early December 2010 with a second place finish at the American Open and just missed qualification for the 2012 Summer Olympics.