Catching Up with Ed Moses
By Mike Watkins//Correspondent
Over a year since his comeback for the 2012 Olympic Trials, Ed Moses is living large in California.
Aside from a race last month while doing a clinic in Colorado, the 2000 Olympic gold and silver medalist hasn’t touched water outside of his hot tub in Hollywood.
Still, despite running his own business – Mojo Marketing & Media – and going back to business school at UCLA, Moses hasn’t retired a second and final time from the sport he came back to in late 2010 – and he doesn’t plan to until after he makes another Olympic run in 2016.
At least that’s the plan for now….but stay tuned.
“I never swim anymore; I just don't have time,” Moses said. “Swimming will have to wait again until about a year out of 2016 Trials. I was in Aspen about 3 weeks ago for a clinic and the team asked me to swim an exhibition 100 yard breaststroke. I hadn’t been in the water since Trials, over a year, but I popped off a 56.1 pool record – which isn't too bad.”
An entrepreneur at heart and by nature, Moses is enjoying success with his marketing business, having recently picked up what he calls “some great clients,” including the company’s first food and beverage account to help re-launch its brand.
His business partner is also close to opening a new venture in the Pro-Active healthcare space that Mojo will help market. And despite his experience and success in the business, Moses said he has a thirst for knowledge – prompting his return to school.
“Going back to school has been a huge culture shock, especially while trying to run a business,” Moses said. “Business school has opened up a huge network for me that I'm developing in some interesting stuff. I just had midterms! At 33-years-old, I’m still taking midterms!”
It was almost 10 years ago at just 24 and in the prime of his career that Moses walked away from the sport after finishing third in the 100 breaststroke and failing to make the 2004 Olympic team.
At the time, his decision was definite. He discarded his goggles and cap, uprooted his life and moved to Orlando, Fla., played golf (where he met and played a few rounds with legend Arnold Palmer) and started Mojo.
He had no intention of every setting foot in a competitive pool again – and he didn’t for more than seven years until the swimming bug and opportunity called him back into the water.
He returned to training full-time in November 2010, and for the first 8 months of his comeback, Moses was relegated to swimming in Masters swim meets (where he set a couple of world records) while he proved through regular drug testing that he was free and clear to compete.
He quickly moved up to compete in Arena Grand Prix level events, and even made a couple of finals but almost always fell short of the awards podium. Nonetheless, that didn’t stop him from continuing to pursue his goal of not only qualifying for the Olympic Trials but being a strong contender to make the team.
His return to the sport he started as a kid was finally for him – not for medals, world records or other people. It was on his terms, and he was as motivated as ever before.
“I was swimming for other things before, but this time, I did it because I enjoyed being back in the pool and wanted to see what I could do and how far I could take it,” a bronze medalist in the 100 breast at 2003 World Championships. “Training for Trials again was an interesting experience to say the least. I am 100 percent glad that I committed myself full time to training for the Trials.
“It was a long 1.5 years, but the hardest part for me was constantly chasing myself from my past performances and training. I could never match up with where I had been as a swimmer and that was difficult to accept. But at some point along the way, it did turn into a ‘give your best’ attitude and that’s all I can ask for.”
At Trials, Moses swam fast times but failed to make it out of prelims in either the 100 or 200 breaststrokes. During the process of chasing his goals, Moses discovered that he wasn’t the only one who had changed since 2004.
The sport and his competitors were different, with so many technical aspects playing a part that weren’t done before. Nutrition, filming, strength training and science had all been included at the top levels – things Moses himself had done in his prime that gave him an edge others didn’t have.
Even so, despite his “lofty” swim goals, Moses said just as he did in the past, there was no way for him to go but straight ahead with no looking back.
“I figured that bar of the Olympics would push me to get the most out of myself,” Moses said. “I was never able to take on the yardage or speeds in training that I was as a younger swimmer. That really was a reality check for me because I have always believed there are no miracles in swimming. You know the work you have put in and you know when you are going to swim fast.
“I know I don't have too much of a future in Olympic swimming, but I do think I will compete at the (2016) Trials as long as I can qualify. Breaststroke comes so natural to me, and I believe we are born not made.”