T-Birds 5-on-5: 'Tis the season

Welcome to the last 5-on-5 of the first term. It’s been a fun few months — so while we are knee-deep in finals, Domino’s and coffee in the depths of Irving, why not take a break and find out what some of the UBC athletes are most looking forward to this holiday season?

We asked five Thunderbirds to share their plans for the winter break, their traditions and their experience in adjusting to winter weather, while acknowledging that putting on some holiday weight from festive treats is a solid plan too.

Claire Eccles (CE): Softball, second-year.

Jessica Williams (JW): Women’s soccer, first-year.

Kaitlin Angell (KA): Track and field, second-year.

Jordan Deshane (JD): Men’s volleyball, second-year.

Darren Rulofs (DR): Men’s soccer, third-year.

Do you have a holiday tradition?

CE: My sister’s birthday is December 13, and my family always waits until after her birthday to put up any Christmas decorations at our house. My family also goes to the same Chinese restaurant every Christmas Eve.

Claire Eccles connects with a pitch.
Claire Eccles connects with a pitch. Courtesy UBC Athletics

JW: Going to see a holiday movie with my family at Christmas.

KA: My family and I ... have some small holiday traditions like opening one present on Christmas Eve and watching the Polar Express. My family is quite small so we just enjoy spending time together and relaxing.

JD: Eating and sleeping as much as possible in two weeks.

DR: Every year, we get a bunch of friends together and host a poker tournament before Christmas. Emotions tend to run pretty high with this one.

How does the lack of sun and cold weather during the winter season affect your training routine?

CE: It definitely makes getting out of bed more difficult to go work out. Especially since the sun rises later and sets sooner in the day, it just seems to be dark all the time. It also gets too cold to practice outside so we shut down softball practices for November and December.

JW: The cold weather just means I have to bundle up extra warm!

KA: The weather in Vancouver in general is a lot different than what I’m used to. Being from Montreal, we get a lot less rain and a lot more cold and snow. I’ve been used to training indoors over winter until now, so doing sprint work in a six degree downpour has been a big adjustment. I’ve been stocking up on rain gear and [have learnt] to dress for the weather, so I’m just barely getting used to it!

JD: The lack of sun really throws off the tan part of my GTL, but gym and laundry are still doing great.

DR: Our training routine stays the same unless there’s snow. If that’s the case, we usually take it indoors and play futsal, or attempt to shovel the field.

Are there any upcoming movies, books or TV shows you are excited to binge on during the holidays?

CE: I don’t watch a whole lot of shows or movies or read, but Jane the Virgin on Netflix is one show I will most likely get all caught up [on] over the holidays.

JW: When I have time, I really want to start watching Stranger Things.

Jessica Williams gets a step ahead of her opponent.
Jessica Williams gets a step ahead of her opponent. File Elizabeth Wang

KA: I’m excited to get back into reading for fun. I used to be quite the bookworm when I was younger and then sort of fell out of ... habit because I didn’t have time. I’m also definitely excited to binge on some rom-coms with my sister too.

JD: I am stoked for the release of the new Star Wars movie.

DR: Definitely looking forward to re-watching The Office over the break. Maybe mix in a Christmas movie or two.

What is your favorite holiday song to jam out to?

CE: "Fa la la" by Justin Bieber featuring Boys II Men.

JW: "Last Christmas" by Wham!

KA: "Cool Yule" by Louis Armstrong and The Commanders. It's from Serendipity which my sister makes me watch all the time ahha!

JD: Anything from Michael Bublé’s Christmas album.

DR: Mariah Carey, "All I Want for Christmas is You".

What would be the perfect Secret Santa present for you?

CE: I really like bread, so ya, someone get me that and I’ll be happy.

JW: Chocolate!

KA: Baked goods. I could easily devour a batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies while studying.

JD: A bunch of chocolate or a nice travel mug.

Jordan Deshane celebrates a point.
Jordan Deshane celebrates a point. Courtesy UBC Athletics

DR: One of those Bluetooth tracking device for keys, since I tend to lose them on a regular basis.