Pandemic Journals - Chasing History Episode 3

Chasing History: Episode 3 With St. Augustine’s University (SAU) pretty much off-limits due to COVID-19 restrictions, we asked five members of the Falcon cycling team to give us a glimpse into their daily lives on campus. Since last year, we’ve been following SAU’s inspiring story, the first historically black college or university to create an official cycling team. In these intimate vlogs submitted by the student riders, we see how they are juggling the demands of school work, athletic training and the tribulations of coming into your own as a young adult.

Video Transcript

- Since last year, cycling for me has been just more than a sport. It's been a place of comfort and a support system for me.

[MUSIC PLAYING]

- Being from a small town, it's really hard to open up, so-- I don't want to say to open up, but it's hard to expand your horizons. Being here has definitely expanded my horizons and opened my eyes to so much more things. Definitely a student before athlete. Thank you, Josh.

- You're welcome.

UMAR T. MUHAMMAD: They don't really have authority over the entire facility, only particular programs or particular services.

- I am obviously a very big Spider-Man fan and hat fan. I really didn't take an interest in hats until I started working at Lids. The weirdest encounter was when there was this guy, and he came in with his two kids. I went to try to give the little boy a high five, and he said, "My dad told me not to touch mud people." Racism is still being taught today. Just like there's generational wealth and generational success, we have to live with the fact that there is generational racism.

- COVID-19 pandemic had affected me in different ways. I lost my job in working at the airport. I wasn't able to return back, and I had to find another way to pay my bills and still keep food on the table. I started a full-time job at [INAUDIBLE] University as a videographer. I see myself owning my own production company. I would like to produce documentary movies, and being able to tell different stories.

During the lockdown, cycling has been really a great help for my mental health. It really helped to take me out of this reality what is going on, especially with COVID-19.

Just going to be a quick ride down to Lake Johnson.

Lake Johnson, it was fun. I actually enjoyed it, being there by myself and challenging myself to doing things that I never did before as a kid. It was more of a off-road gravel type of ride. I also ran cross-country in high school, so I kind of look at it as cross-country on a bike.

- It's Thursday, and its business day. It's the business day of the week. Business attire.

Because my mother is an accountant, I just developed a love for accounting. And I want to be an accountant, and I think that it's beneficial for my freshman year [INAUDIBLE] being involved in all of these different clubs and getting more insight.

- Right now I am in a stock trading meeting. It happens every Wednesday at noon. I'm just learning more about trading from guest speakers coming in every week.

So I am here at a COVID testing. Because I am an athlete, I have to take the COVID test twice every week.

So I am at the part of my day where I am just getting in a little workout. Outside it's a little cold and rainy, so I'm using the indoor trainer and getting in my workout for the day.

- My freshman year my grandma died. So I think I felt stressed and a lot of emotions. I didn't know how to explain it well. So I put in on a piece of paper, and that's how I started writing poetry. My poem would be about the empowerment of African-American people as a whole. I realized that was the first poem that I ever wrote.

We should realize that we are kings and queens, that we were not put on this earth just to be human beings, but we were made to be great. Shout out to me because I was raised with dignity, and [INAUDIBLE] life is like a sea where we are alone but not really. We should realize that we are here, made with the substance and passion, love and devotion that is dear. We should realize the hard times, just the thought of the pain on the spine of a black man or woman in these times.

But God put us on Earth with a plan, so that we can understand that we are above the so-called men. We should realize that we can do all things through Christ, I repeat, all things through Christ. And through the darkness, Christ is our light to give hope that we might realize and open our eyes to realize.

- My grandfather passed away a couple of days before Christmas and cycling has really kept me going. It's been a source of strength for me, and it kept me from breaking down. Every time I thought about my grandfather and his passing away, went for a ride. No matter how cold it was, I went for a ride. Every day now, I wake up in the morning, tidy up myself, get breakfast. I usually make oatmeal and raisins, 'cause I love raisins, and a cup of coffee. And I sit, take my time to eat breakfast, then head back to my room, get changed, did a workout session either on the road, or in Zwift.

Right now I'm actually preparing myself to be a professional cyclist. I've been doing workouts. I've been putting the mileage in. I've been preparing myself physically and mentally for what I want to accomplish.

I appreciate the sport of cycling. It's put me in a position to better myself and better head space. I love it.