What I’m Reading | Rachel Ross
Ironman Triathlete, Web Designer

Q&A with Christine Thomas
January 2008

-What are you reading?

I just finished reading “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance” because I didn’t know anything about Barack Obama, but I knew he was a local boy and wanted to learn more about him. I’m not a political person so I’m trying to get more knowledgeable before the next elections. I also have a book that lives in my car, that’s my Bible. It’s called “Sports Nutrition for Endurance Athletes” by Monique Ryan. With all my kids’ activities I have little moments, like a half hour, to read while one is at sports. I’ve never read it cover to cover, but it’s a good reminder of what I should be doing for my body with Ironman and other training.

-How do you discover them?

My coach gave me the sports nutrition book because I was training like a full time endurance athlete and racing like one, but not eating like one. Barack’s I took from the library recycling shelf. We spend a lot of time at the library—my kids are at that age so we’re at the library once a week. And I went to Punahou and Barack went to Punahou so I thought I’d read about him.

-What stands out about Dreams from My Father?

It’s interesting to see his background. I’ve never followed his political career so I’ve enjoyed reading about his start and all that he went through. He’s always been so driven–I can’t imagine having that drive. He’s known what he wanted to do since high school—known that he was going to be a leader. I’m driven in different ways—in athletics—but it’s interesting to read about this political driven person. It’s also fun reading about Punahou in the `70s—it’s something I can relate to a little more.

-You didn’t start out wanting to be a triathlete, as Obama wanted to be a leader, but does his passion for politics resonate with your own for athletics?

I definitely relate to his drive. People ask me how I do what I do—you decide you love something and you have to see how far you can go with it and that’s a parallel that I see. I didn’t have the drive from a young age, and as far as career goes I’m not there with him, but I’ve found something I enjoy pushing myself at. What I’m doing is personal, but he’s changing lives—so I’m certainly not doing things as big as he does. I’m just enjoying what I do and pushing myself, and hoping to motivate people and women along the way.