TSC: How are you holding up in Chicago? You're a messenger, therefore your work is considered essential under the current Covid-19 mandates. How has your work changed, how are you handling being in public at this time?
JA: I’m holding fine at the moment here in Chicago. It’s been a rollercoaster of emotions for me during the last month with everything that’s happening with the pandemic. I Came down with anxiety, and I’m adjusting to the new norm of things all while trying to stay sane/healthy.
It’s really a challenge to stay motivated because you feel so exhausted with all the news you hear most of the time and it’s just a buzzkill. The other week when I got the news about my dad passing away dealing with his breathing issues and having Covid-19, it hit me so hard.
My anxiety went off the roof after hearing he passed. I can describe it like this: It’s kind of like that moment on a train going so fast that you don’t know whether it’s going to stop or if it might hit another train going full speed, then imagine you do hit that other train going full speed. You will know. IT HITS YOU HARD! A piece of me instantly died when I heard the news about my dad.
I’m so happy I have my girlfriend by my side who’s been checking up on me. She is always there for me when I’m feeling down or when I need someone to talk to. To all my good/close friends who've been checking up on me, texting me, calling me just to see how I’m doing: THANK YOU SO MUCH! Without you guys I seriously don’t know where I’d be right now dealing with everything at the moment. Thank you for everything.
Now with being an essential worker as a courier things have changed with delivering food to customers with guidelines that we all follow when working. We call the customers, notify them that Their food has arrived and leave it either at the lobby or the front door till they come out with giving them the distance that is required.
With being out in public for work or just in general is a worrisome matter. But it’s like what some say; the bills never stop coming in. So the only way to pay them is to work but with extra precautions now.
TSC: What has running been doing for you that cycling hasn't? You've picked up rather quickly, joined some solid crews, and have your eyes on some races. Is running a way to grow from riding or is it an extension of where you're at now in your life?
JA: Running is just different than cycling. You get to use a different part of your body and it’s mentally different. Running is now a part of my life with cycling. It’s an extension of where I’m at right now in life. Don’t get me wrong, I still love bike camping, and when this is all over you know I’m planning to get out there.
It’s hard to get out of town here cause wherever you go there’s forty miles of suburbs before you can actually get anywhere to ride. I had some good experiences getting out of town on some overnighters with good people here but sometimes the ride is only getting out of town and that’s not exciting.
TSC: There is a saying that….?
JA: things will be ok! I’m still trying to STAY STOKED and have a positive mindset with everything. Be kind to one another, hug your loved ones tight, check up on one another, know that this will pass and things will be back to normal. Believe me I never thought I’d be living through a pandemic but here we are!