Staff Spotlight: Sue Peterson

Sue, with TaylorSue Peterson has been a fixture on the Sports Medicine Fitness Center staff since 1990. During her tenure, Sue has worked in many departments, including our fitness classes, Preventative Cardiology, the Work Hardening program, the Eating Disorders Clinic, the Pain Clinic, and the Pediatric Fitness Clinic, as well as being a clinical exercise physiologist for our center.
You'll typically see Sue on Tuesday and Thursday mornings in the large exercise room, leading her participants through her Senior Aerobic Dance class. Later on those same days, she's in the Fitness Center working with the Parkinson's Exercise group. Sue is also busy with her one-on-one Living Falls Free clients throughout the week.
Growing up Sue started running and was on the track and cross country teams. Since Sue's timeline predates Title IX she was often the first female on boys teams. Sue recalls encounters where coaches and male teammates teased her but she enjoyed the activity and didn't give up.
Good thing she didn't. Her running continued throughout college when she competed on UW women's track team. Sue expanded her activity to cross country skiing before it was popular in the United States. She also started biking in the summers during college to train for the skiing season.
Her passion for the outdoors was instilled in her by her parents. Family outings included fishing, hiking and trap shooting. Sue, her husband Matt, and their two kids, Rachael and Luke, carry on these family traditions and enjoy time at their cabin and adventures that take them outdoors. She shares her passion and enjoyment of movement with her class participants and our members.
We are very fortunate to have Sue as a part of our team and see her smile each day. Say hi the next time you see Sue and maybe she'll teach you a dance move or two!
Now a few words directly from Sue:
Why did you choose this profession?
My interest in exercise physiology brought me into this field. My focus went from a more animal and research model to people. I found I really enjoyed working with people and the creative part of fitness. It's a great feeling to help people be their best and fun when you see them achieve something they haven't before.
What do you like about working here?
I like the diversity of the membership in our center and class programs.
  • Hometown: Rockford, Illinois
  • Current residence: Middleton
  • Birthday: July 29
  • Family: Husband  Matt, daughter Rachael, son Luke 
  • Pets: A dog named Taylor
  • Favorite music: I like many genres. No head-bangin’ heavy metal, though.
  • Favorite color: At the moment, orange
  • Favorite TV shows: "Grey's Anatomy," "Downton Abbey"
  • Favorite movies: "Singing in the Rain," "American in Paris," "Shawshank Redemption," "Defiance"
  • Hobbies: I'm not crafty. I like biking, XC skiing, hiking, fishing – basically any outdoor pursuit or excursion to see things of wildlife.
  • Favorite foods: Anything that's well cooked by someone else
  • Favorite vacation spots (thus far): Our cabin in the woods, Torres del Paine, mountain places such as Glacier National Park or the Appalachians
  • Favorite athlete: I don't have a "favorite" athlete but I like to watch Baryshnikov
  • People I admire: Harriet Tubman, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela
  • Brush with greatness: When I get inspired by people who don't quit and are encouraged to keep going.
  • Something very few people know about me that I’m willing to divulge here: I am trained in the loading and firing of heavy artillery (i.e., cannons and mortars)