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April 26, 2022

Kurt Dickson: Why a Busy E.R. Doctor Makes Time to Swim, Episode 145, 04-26-2022

Kurt Dickson: Why a Busy E.R. Doctor Makes Time to Swim, Episode 145, 04-26-2022

95-Time Masters National Champion and Marathon Swimming Triple Crown finisher makes time for the things he love – even when his schedule is inconsistent.

Emergency room physician Kurt Dickson says that he prioritizes swimming workouts, even if the time of day or length varies by the day. He talks with Kelly and Maria about how difficult experiences in the past few years drove him to his strongest swimming performances and how he is able to put performance anxiety into perspective. 

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Kurt Dickson is a full-time physician and masters swimmer, specializing in the longer freestyle events and backstroke. He’s been US Masters National Champion 95 times, which means 95 All-American Honors, a 2-time FINA World Record Holder and a 7-time USMS Long Distance All-Star. In 2021, he earned his first-ever Pool All-Star honor, which is the highest honor in US Masters Swimming. 

Kurt has also completed the Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming which includes the Swim around Manhattan (28.5 mile), the English Channel crossing (21 mile) and swimming the Catalina Channel. He’s also a 5-time Ironman Finisher. 

Episode Topics and Mentions

Emergency medicine

US Masters Swimming

Triple Crown of Marathon Swimming

Brigham Young University

Sleep routines


US Masters National Meet

University of Texas

Distance swimming




  1. Give yourself permission to say “this makes me feel alive and gives me meaning.”
  2. Keep what is important in perspective to deal with performance anxiety. 
  3. Even if your body changes, you can enjoy movement and activities. 


  1. Consistency can remain, even if your schedule is always changing. Make time, somewhere, to fit in what is important. 
  2. You can outwork others who may have more talent than you.
  3. Put your feelings into different buckets to really understand it: spiritual, intellectual and primal.

Quote of the Week

“You’ve got to be patient with yourself; you’ve got to be persistent, but be patient with yourself.”  -- Kurt Dickson

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