Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

It's going swimmingly

Life is more than good for Moors, a student-athlete and mom

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She's a swimmer, a student, a trainer, but most of all, a mother.

University of Manitoba Bisons women's swimming team member Kimberly Moors is doing it all and doing it well. And the swimming part is going much better than the last time.

Moors, 26, is back with the Bisons after a seven-year hiatus. Since leaving in 2004, she has given birth to daughter Mila, 3, and worked as a lifeguard and a personal trainer before returning to school this fall to study kinesiology.

Just nine weeks into her swimming training, Moors qualified on Saturday for the Canadian Interuniversity Sport championships in both the 50-metre butterfly and the 50m freestyle during the 2012 Prairie Winter Invitational meet at the Pan Am Pool.

"What she's trying to do is much harder than just swim best times and win medals. She told me when she came back that she wants to be a good example for her daughter. As a dad, I know, there's no more powerful motivation than your own child," said Vlastic Cerny, the U of M swimming coach. "She's less than half a second off her times from when she left. After seven years of not swimming, and back to a training regimen for only two months, that's phenomenal. She's at the peak age for competition, she's got her life organized and she's demonstrating the value of commitment. The sky's the limit for her."

Moors had been living back home in Thompson, where she was also coaching swimming, when she decided to move back to Winnipeg and return to school.

"My 26-year-old self versus my 19-year-old self... I'm more mature now, I have my daughter and I'm more focused on all my goals," said Moors. "I realized I didn't want to watch people swim anymore when I wanted to be swimming.

"I knew there was something better out there for me. I had bigger dreams and goals and I needed to go after them, for me and for my daughter."

Moors is a single mom who is very much on her own. Though her parents help when they can, they live in Thompson along with the rest of her immediate family.

"It's just me and Mila, mostly. But we're a good team," Moors said. "She is super-outgoing, confident. I just love her beautiful little eyes. All the things I wanted in myself, I see in her."

Cerny said when Moors told him she wanted to come back this year, he said his main concern, that she might not be able to handle the intense training, was quickly alleviated.

"I asked her how many chin-ups she could do. She said 26 and I said 'okay, we can do something with that,'" Cerny said, noting that's the range expected for Olympic-class swimmers. "We hear stories bout the world record holders that come out of the Australian programs and the girls can do over 20 chin-ups."

Since Moors is a certified personal trainer, fitness was a big part of her life coming into the program. It's been a blessing too, since it enables her to do her own dryland training. The team sessions are in the early part of the morning when Moors is with her daughter. Moors trains herself as part of her school day while Mila is at daycare.

This weekend Moors had her own mom, who was visiting from Thompson, to help care for Mila during the meet. On Sunday, Mila was at the pool with her grandma to watch her mom compete. And show her mom how she could twirl in a dress.

"I always think, 'what kind of an example am I setting for her? What kind of legacy am I leaving for her?'" Moors said. "I want to be a great example for her so that she can follow. And I want her to be greater than me."

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition December 3, 2012 C2

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