State of Idaho, Secretary of State Unincorporated Nonprofit Association Association Number: U4272

Featured Swimmer: Sue Langley

As part of SAWS, we are fortunate to swim with some incredible people who have awesome talents both in and out of the pool.  We hang out on the wall of the pool, in locker rooms, etc., but we often don’t know an individual’s whole story. In an effort to better know and honor our fellow swimmers, we have created a feature to shine a light on a member who inspires us.  Our inaugural “Swimmer of the Month” is Sue Langley.


You will most likely see Sue at the Downtown Y pool 2-3x a week swimming with Rick and Kyle. She identifies first as a runner and then as a triathlete; prior to joining SAWS, swimming was not one of her strengths.  She had no formal swimming lessons as a kid, however, did join her 9th grade swim team in Great Falls, MT, because that was the year Sue signed up for ALL offered sports.  Since she didn’t know how to breathe to the side, she entered the 25 yard freestyle and held her breath the whole way!


Twenty years ago, Sue started competing in triathlons and recognized that she needed to improve her swimming. She’d look over at the Masters’ workouts and feel intimidated, so she started with private swim lessons, joined the tri-swim group and then eventually took the step to swim with the masters’ team. 


It is surprising that Sue had any trepidation in joining the masters’ workouts given her extensive knowledge and comfort regarding all things athletic.  In addition to running and doing triathlons, she grew up loving resistance training and in high school was not at all intimated to be the only girl in the weight room.  She studied Exercise Science and received her Masters from the University of Oregon and was certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.  A exercise physiologist for 10 years, Sue had a variety of jobs in the field including employee wellness, designing exercise programs in a hospital setting for patients with various diseases (diabetes, fibromyalgia, arthritis, strokes and cardiac rehab), as well as personal training and aerobic/yoga instruction, just to name some.

Recently a group of us were fortunate to attend her SAWS’ Strength Clinic, and we were blown away by her expertise, preparation, and enthusiasm to share her knowledge.  We left with a thick, comprehensive leave-behind detailing how we can use resistance training to improve our swimming and satisfyingly sore muscles over the next few days. 


Today Sue is an accountant by profession, but still impressively committed to athletic pursuits: running, triathlons, resistance training, fitness classes (boot camp style or high-intensity interval training) and of course swimming. She competed in swimming for the Senior Olympics and our recent “Spin to Swim” Fun Meet.


Married to Mark Zimmerer who teaches yoga at the Y and other places, she has a son, Tenje, who was on the swim team and worked as a lifeguard. By no means a “boring accountant,” Sue used to be a piano teacher, massage therapist, has made more than 40 quilts, loves and rescues animals, has accompanied many different choirs and instrumentalists and was a “Kit Kat Girl” in a production of Cabaret!


Leading a very busy life between family, working and athletics, Sue embraces her “me” time and describes her perfect day: “…a mini retreat at home with just me and my dogs and cats – spending time in the garden, running in the foothills, organizing some area of the house that I never have time to do, and playing the piano, but mostly having nothing that I have to do.”


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