Some people run for fun, others for sport, and others for the experience. No matter what the motivation is, the El Paso Marathon is a great way for people to get in tune with themselves both physically and mentally. But for one Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) El Paso employee, Alyssa Cervantes, there was a more personal reason behind it.
Alyssa Cervantes, Director of Managed Care, Business Development & Special Projects in the Medical Practice Income Plan (MPIP) department, along with the support of her friend Maggie Rivas, an administrator in the Department of Internal Medicine, and family, was able to complete the half-marathon, and find a greater peace within herself in the process.
“It was by far one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I woke up the next day as a different person, because I was able to conquer a limitation in my head,” she said. Cervantes revealed that the marathon was a therapeutic experience that helped her with a problem she had faced since her middle school days on a track team. “When I was in the seventh grade, I developed a fear of racing, but it was really just self-doubt in my personal capability to complete what was, for me, a daunting physical challenge. The marathon wasn’t just a race for me. It finally empowered me to silence my self-doubt.”
Cervantes wants others to know that running a race, half/full marathon or anything else you aspire to accomplish or overcome can absolutely be done. “After years of doubting my physical capabilities, I finally learned how important it is for us working moms to carve out time for ourselves, to train or work toward conquering a personal obstacle or a goal. In the process I was able to send a message to my son who was waiting for me at the finish line–if his Mom could put her mind and heart into something and succeed–with hard work and commitment, his capabilities are limitless,” she said.
She credits her family and friends with helping her conquer her self-doubt for completing a half-marathon. “They were totally supportive and we made it a team effort. My husband and son would join me on Saturdays at school tracks, my father would jog with me after work at a local park, and Maggie and I would go on long runs on Sunday mornings.”
Cervantes said there’s nothing better than facing a challenge and conquering it. This might be her way of saying it’s not how fast you get there, but what you learn along the way.