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by Greta Van Meeteren

August 27, 2010

Extra motivation in a busy life

Nathan Dean is a pediatrician, specifically a pediatric intensivist. He works in the pediatric ICU at Children's National Medical Center in Washington D.C. Work can be very busy, and 20 weeks a year Dean works 80-100 hours. The rest of the year he is involved in clinical research related to traumatic brain injury. Dean is married and he has three children under the age of 10, so life is very busy. Dean has been swimming competitively since he was seven years old. He took two years off in college, and missed it, so he started a club team in his junior year of college. He started Masters swimming while he was in medical school. Dean still tries to make it to three or four meets a year.

"I've been more consistent over the past year and try and swim four times a week for 80-90 minutes. When I'm busy, I may drop down to two or three times a week," says Dean. He has dabbled in open water swimming and triathlons recently. He did the 4.4-mile Chesapeake Bay Bridge swim in 2007 and 2008, and last month he did a 7.5-mile open water swim at the mouth of the Potomac River. (The photo above is taken after the finish of that swim.) His favorite events to compete in are the 100 fly and 200 free.

Dean finds GTD to be extra motivation. He started last July, but didn't set a goal in 2009. This past January he set a goal of a one mile per day average. This past February, when the DC area was snow bound, he fell off pace. Normally he might have delayed getting back to the pool, feeling being out of shape, but GTD gave him the motivation to keep going. That spurred him along and In May he competed at Spring Nationals. At 35, he swam four personal best times.

When he was 18 his best 200 free was 2:00.00 and he has always wanted to break two minutes. He was starting to think that, being in his mid 30s, it would never happen. "I finished at 1:59.31, and I have to say, the feeling afterwards was great! I also broke 1.00 in the 100 fly for the first time ever. All in all it was a great meet, and I think GTD has helped me train harder and more consistently.”

Besides work and swimming Dean devotes most of his time to his kids. The oldest, age seven, has been on a swim team for two years and she really enjoys swimming. She got her first individual first place a few weeks ago.


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