Once a mom ...

CON GRIWKOWSKY, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:53 AM ET

Kristina Schultz grew up as a water child.

When she was 12 years old, Schultz was ranked Alberta's No. 3 backstroker and second alternate for Canada's Olympic trials.

Like many female athletes, Schultz put family ahead of possible fame as she became mom to Brandon, 10, and Aleysa, eight.

Although she expanded her natural swimming ability and had been running for a decade before putting the components together, cycling has emerged as her strongest triathlon element.

When her daughter finally reached school age, it gave Schultz a chance to really cut loose in her 2008 schedule.

"I had such a successful year and it was because I was able to do my training properly the way I should," said Schultz. "When I had one in school and one out of school, I had to juggle a lot more.

"At the end of the day, I have to make dinner, I had to pack lunches, I still have to take the kids to school, laundry, cleaning the house ..."

As much as she would have liked to pursue her potential as a Canadian Olympian, she has never apologized for putting family first.

"If you want to get onto the Olympic team, you have to do the world circuit," said Schultz. "I just can't see myself leaving my family to do the world circuit. I'm really far behind that time frame now."

In her seventh season of competitive triathlon, Schultz is convinced she has not yet reached her full potential.

"I'm not 40 yet, I still have a few years," said Schultz, about her foray into the elite level. "Yeah, I just thought, what the heck, I may as well try it now that the kids are older and more self-sufficient.

"I don't have to worry about them as much, so it's much easier for me."


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