In today’s podcast, Dr. Alex Jimenez sits down with Olympic Athlete Evonne Britton and discusses her journey and the steps on overcoming obstacles as a track athlete.
Who Is Evonne Britton?
[00:00:19] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So Yvonne, one of the things that we want to talk about today is to present an unbelievable athlete who has been through a lot through the years and has been part of our community. It comes from a family of athletes. Yvonne Britton has been able to capture the hearts of El Paso and endeared herself to our community. So as you guys know, I bring a lot of athletes and a lot of talent through El Paso. We want to know a bit of what it takes because on the other side of being an athlete, what we do is we want to make it suitable for the future athletes, the future kids that are desiring to be in the world of fitness in any arena. So today, we will be talking with Evonne Britton, an unbelievable track star. She’s going to be talking about specifics, and then we’re going to be going through a bit of her story. So we want to know a bit about her, and I’d like to introduce her. Hello, how are you doing?
[00:01:31] Evonne Britton: Hi, Dr. Jimenez. I’m doing great. Thank you for having me.
[00:01:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, we’re excited to have you. One of the things that we want to do today is to bring awareness of all the things you do and like your life experiences. And one of the things is what got you into what you’re doing and what is it? Tell me a bit about who is Evonne Britton a little bit. Just tell me a little bit.
[00:01:51] Evonne Britton: A bit of me. So let’s see. So I first started just doing all types of sports when I was younger. We were a very sports-oriented academic family, so that we would do all the sports from volleyball to basketball to softball, football, and then track. I didn’t really like falling in love with the track until middle school. My coach just threw me in the hurdles my dad volunteered me to do. And then I just found out that I had this talent. So from there, I just dedicated myself. From then on, I was just a hurdler, I guess. And then the rest is history.
[00:02:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m going to stop you there. Tell me a bit of that moment you decided to or found out that you came up with this idea of being a hurdler.
[00:02:40] Evonne Britton: Well, my older brother ran track, so I would go with him to practice as he ran track like a complement of his football. But I would always just run the sprints, but I wasn’t like that outstanding until that actual day at that meet when I had never done hurdles; I had never run over a hurdle. So I didn’t know what was going to happen.
[00:03:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Raw talent, huh? So how did dad get you out there?
[00:03:11] Evonne Britton: Well, I didn’t even know he came up to me and was like, “Oh, Evonne, you’re doing the hurdles.” He told me what I was doing them, and I was like, What? I didn’t even want to do that, and I was scared because, you know, you can fall into the hurdles. Those are like obstacles that you have to jump over. And I never had done the hurdles. So I was just like when daddy says it is and then you do it. So I was like, Well, I guess I’m going to try the hurdles.
[00:03:33] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I notice that you talk about your dad and your mom in a very kind of endearing way. Tell me a bit about your mom and your dad. How did that happen? Were they athletes at one time?
How Her Family Incorporate Sports
[00:03:42] Evonne Britton: Yes, they are very supportive. They’re like my backbone. They’re the first people that I go to for advice or support. They’ve always been there for everything, for it, anything I do, regardless, if it’s sports, they’re my number one people that I know that I can count on that they mean so much to me, they’ve pushed us, they’re not always the easiest. They’re pretty strict. But I’m happy with how they have taught me values because I still use those today. And I think that’s why I’ve gone as far as I have because I listen to what they’ve said and try to incorporate the lessons they have told me.
[00:04:27] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, without asking too much. What’s mom’s name and dad’s name?
[00:04:31] Evonne Britton: So it’s Darnese and Edward Britton?
[00:04:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Oh, wow. Oh, and how many brothers and sisters do you have?
[00:04:38] Evonne Britton: So there are five of us total.
[00:04:41] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And tell me a bit of that because I did look at your website. I noticed that you come from a family of extreme, early, highly talented, you know, athletes. So tell me about them.
[00:04:49] Evonne Britton: So my dad played football at the University of Maryland, where he met my mom, who was a cheerleader. She ran track and did all kinds of sports as well. And so naturally, when they have kids, we got into sports as well. So my dad was our first coach for my brother, who played football. He was my oldest brother. He was a superstar. People to this day still know his name, Edward Britton or Eddy Britton. He played Football for Vermont Wood, and he was like one of the number one recruits for colleges. Yeah, so he was pretty talented.
[00:05:31] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What about the other ones?
[00:05:32] Evonne Britton: Yeah. My older sister was also someone I looked up to. She was like a superstar, like for volleyball. Before I liked it, I looked up to her for basketball and got into my own. She was like my bodyguard like she was. She was always like, always have my back, had my back, and then was just an outstanding athlete all around, very aggressive, like, very fearless. Like, I think I got that from her, just like not being afraid and just doing my thing. Then it was me and then my younger brother, Elijah; I kind of took him under my wing. And so when I became a hurler, I like, taught him some things. And so then, while I was at Penn State, I told my coach about my younger brother, who was a hurdler, Mollywood, in high school. And so then my coach at Penn State, his older brother, was at Clemson University. And so, since I was telling my coach about my brother, the Clemson University coach was interested in my younger brother. And so I was like, Yeah, he knows some stuff because I like, you know, teaching him and stuff. And so then he got recruited by my coach’s brother to go to Clemson University. So that’s Elijah. And then we have Ibrahim. He’s the youngest. He was a little tricky. Because he was the youngest, I guess we like the younger ones, kind of get away with things more, I think. Yes. So he kind of knew that. And he’s very smart. So he knew what he could do to get by in terms of like sports. But he was naturally like, could have surpassed everyone just with his natural ability if he didn’t have that work ethic.
[00:07:18] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What’s his favorite thing to do?
[00:07:20] Evonne Britton: His favorite thing to do. He likes a lot of things. He’s very motivated. Anything he does, he can do as well. He was doing rap for a little bit. Then he’s like now until real estate and like his own type of like just entrepreneur type mindset.
[00:07:38] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, I got to tell you, we have to have a podcast with your mom because one of the things is there’s the thing I learned in my upbringing don’t do anything bad in the streets because they’re not going to talk about you. They’re going to talk about me, my grandmother and my mom. That must be amazing having so many kids that have reached such a high level of accolade. And that’s something that that mom and dad are very proud of, I’m sure. But we need to discuss that there because there’s a lot of people and many parents want to know how to navigate life and early development to have kids, you know, mature in a proper way. Now you did mention Penn State, OK? That’s one of the greatest places to go for all athletes. It’s in terms of where we come from a wrestling family, and we know how difficult it is to be a wrestler at Penn State. So we can only imagine the level of competition you had before going in there. Tell me a bit about your high school experience in track because how old were you when your dad got you involved? And then, at what grade were you in?
How Track Found Her
[00:08:43] Evonne Britton: I was in eighth grade, so it was my last year. I was like 13. I think I was about 13? Yeah, about 13.
[00:08:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And in high school, how did you go through the process of going through track?
[00:08:58] Evonne Britton: So in high school, I wanted to be a dancer as well. So my first two years, they were kind of like me doing everything. I was like doing basketball, doing volleyball. I was trying to dance and then with my AP classes. So I have a full schedule. It was pretty good because I had like my summer track coach who would help me sometimes. And then, like my coach, the high school coach at Chapin would also like. So they worked as a team because they knew right away that like I was a talent as a freshman, I was the first one to make it to state. Wow. Really from Chapin? Yeah, at Chapin High School. So there was like a couple of seniors. There was like maybe five of us freshman year. Or was I the only one? I think I was the only freshman that made it to the states.
[00:09:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So after that, you competed through your ninth, 10th and 11th, and 12th-grade year. How did that go? Each year?
[00:09:55] Evonne Britton: Yeah. So all four years, I was on varsity. The first year I was shocked. I didn’t even know that I was at that level to run with the older people until that was like me first realizing like, OK, like, I guess I am kind of fast. And then sophomore year, just every year, I was kind of like getting a little bit better. So the sophomore year, I got a little better, and I was kind of like, OK, like going to practice doing everything. But I was still doing other sports. So I was a little bit spread out, but at the same time, it was good enough because I was just a sophomore.
[00:10:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this because whenever I notice working with athletes is that each athlete develops at their proper time, they ripen when there’s a lot of effort put into their education, a lot of teaching, a lot of I call it like mental prep preparedness that occurs in a family. But at one point, the child engages and takes over, and actually, you see them get organized. And once they do that, I found it for boys in wrestling. At least it was somewhere around the 10th and 11th-grade year I saw that. I also noticed that the volleyball players disengage between 10th and 11th grade. Just like I got this now, I am in charge of this, and I’m going to be, you know, an extraordinary athlete and what I do. At what point did you decide and say, You know what? This is my thing, and I’m going to go with this.
[00:11:18] Evonne Britton: It had to be 11th grade. I was going to say so sophomore year. I was like, OK, junior year. I started realizing that I needed to do certain things to, you know, be at the level that I wanted to be at. So I just started working a little harder because that was the year I didn’t make it to the state junior year. I was a little distracted and thought I could do everything as I got it.
[00:11:42] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So you ended up at regionals then?
[00:11:45] Evonne Britton: Yeah, that was my last one because I choked.
How To Handle The Drama?
[00:11:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: OK, let me ask you, let’s go there because many people want to know because it happens to everyone, whether through injury or through the dramas of navigating through the year. Something happens when you don’t make it to the state level. How did you handle that? How was that? What happened?
[00:12:03] Evonne Britton: Yeah. So at that time, I think I was in a bit of a relationship or something. And then, I also wanted to be on the dance team, and I was like hanging out with my friends. I was like, you know, kind of more involved in that. And so then I had a conversation with my dad, and I remember he just told me that, you know, you can have fun now or you can have fun later. So I understood that that meant just some sacrifices. And so it didn’t register until after I didn’t make it. And I kind of was like, Oh, OK, I see what he’s saying, like, I guess I wasn’t working as hard or was distracted to where it affected my track.
[00:12:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, as a parent, I have a daughter, her name is America, and she’s pretty talented and intelligent, and she looks at me and can’t believe how much information is going in her head. And then she comes out and blurts out things. But I somehow felt like the village idiot around 13 or 14 years old, and she’s 13 or 14 15, and she’s kind of coming around now. And I think we, as parents, realize that our kids change. Did you notice that you were changing emotionally and your values in terms of your work ethic as you went through high school?
[00:13:18] Evonne Britton: Yes. Yeah, I felt like I knew everything at some point, and then I could handle everything. And then I was like, Oh, wait; they may know some things they have been living longer than me, so let me listen. Even though sometimes it was hard, it was sometimes hard to bite. But I had to like, you know, just trust that what they were telling me that it was in my best interest, though.
[00:13:50] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, did you have to decide terms of your sports, like sometimes you do, let’s say, track and volleyball. When did you engage and thought I would focus on this one thing?
The Efforts Evonne Went Through
[00:14:01] Evonne Britton: So I was like, I was going to get myself two, well, one year. Our senior year was the year that I was like, all in. But in junior year, I was half in, half out because I was still trying to do everything that I wanted. And then I realized, Well, let me do what I know I’m good at and that I like it, and that will take me where I want to be. So that was college. My goal was to get a scholarship, go to the states, and win. So from going to not going and not make it like being all in every day. I knew what my goal was. So from like my diet to what I was eating to like, you know, training as hard as I could. So going to the trainers and like doing the ice bath and like doing my schoolwork, making sure I was on top of that, everything was kind of like in a row. My ducks were getting in a row and then came around the stage. I was getting calls from colleges because they had been interested in me from my sophomore year or so.
[00:15:03] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: And you get those phone calls around junior year. Yeah, I think that’s a positive, but you get them anyways, or they talk to your parents somewhere say, Hey, yeah, you know, there’s always these recruiters. But let me ask you this at that moment in time. Let’s go back to that because I want to engage at that moment because we have many athletes who want to change. And let me ask you this your spirituality and mind focus during that senior year. Tell me a little about what it took. And also, I’d like to know a bit about your coaches because I believe that when you see an athlete like yourself winning, I mean, I got to tell you when my kid wins, I win, I won, the whole town won it. We’re all like, you know, Hey, you know what? We’re all going crazy, and we’re part of it. So in the front line, there’s you, but behind you is a mural of hundreds of coaches and parents and teachers and spiritual guidance. Tell me a bit of that.
[00:16:00] Evonne Britton: So, yeah, it takes a lot of work. It’s a team effort. So from like my parents, just like making sure that I’m on schedule and taking my supplements that they would give me and making sure like, you know, I’m eating properly and they’re making my meals, and then we go to practice. And so, at practice, my coach, Coach Mack, was one of my coaches. He was good. That was like one of my favorite coaches.
[00:16:27] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Was he your high school coach?
[00:16:28] Evonne Britton: Yeah.
[00:16:30] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Is he still there, by the way?
[00:16:32] Evonne Britton: No. I think he’s somewhere in Dallas.
[00:16:34] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What’s his first name?
[00:16:36] Evonne Britton: Coach Alex and Coach Dale? Coach Dale played at UTEP. He ran at UTEP.
[00:16:43] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Would you know their first names and last names if you could remember? Or is it just Mack?
[00:16:47] Evonne Britton: I think it’s Coach McGorder.
[00:16:49] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Coach McGorder. And then the other one, Coach Alex, what was his name?
[00:16:54] Evonne Britton: I call him Coach Alex.
[00:16:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know what? My coach? I called him Coach Bobo. I still call him Coach Bobo. He was my wrestling coach, and he was a good guy. He’s an excellent spiritual guide too. So in terms of your spirituality and your coaches, tell me a bit of how that connected and helped you support you through the process of your high school dynamics?
[00:17:20] Evonne Britton: So my faith is very important to me. I think that it helps guide me and keep me on track. So when things get tough, you know, you have some time to pray; that’s all you can do and just be patient and trust the process. So everything that I was going through, I was working and doing the best that I could. But at the same time, I was hoping that God wanted the same thing because sometimes it’s not what you want, but it’s the proper timing. So I knew that if I did everything I could and then just had faith and just did all I could and just believed, then I would be OK. And so that’s pretty much all I did was what I could do and then prayed that you know, God would take care of the rest.
[00:18:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So that’s beautiful in terms of your family and the support structure you had around you. How did that work out? Because I know mom must have been your doctor or your clinician, you nutritionist making sure your packages are ready, everything in the bag, and you know you’ve got to get out by 6:00 in the morning and all that. Tell me a bit of how mom played and her particular, let’s say, experience in nutrition affect you because you do have a nutrition degree, and we’ll get to that in a second. But how did that? How did your parents come together in terms of nutrition? And the reason I ask is precise is that I want parents to understand that food plays one of the critical roles in developing athletes. So there are parents that want to push, but they don’t understand that component. So that’s, you know, pretty much one of the essential components along with the dynamics we’re speaking of. But talk to me about the nutrition mom helped you in kind of detail through life.
[00:19:06] Evonne Britton: So there was like a tight schedule that we had so that we would wake up and breakfast would be ready. So yeah, before we headed out of the house, my parents would. I don’t know how they would do that. Now that I’m an adult, they would make time. They would have our breakfast. So we had a good meal with all the components of the nutrient that you need to be a champion. They call it the breakfast of champions, and it was like everything from protein to carbs to vitamins. We always made sure that we cooked. And so that was something that I maybe took for granted because it’s really important to have healthy meals and so your body is rejuvenated and getting the proper nutrients it needs to perform. And so we, for the most part, would cook at home. We would go out maybe a few times, but we would be cooking healthy whole foods for the most part. We didn’t eat like; I don’t know, like preservatives, junk food like now and then. But it wasn’t a thing. My mom would pack our lunches when we were like, you know, younger and stuff like that. And then, yeah, just instilled what it was to eat healthily. And then, supplements were also incorporated as well in high school.
[00:20:32] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So no Takis for you. No hot chips. What would you recommend? What would you tell the student who is an athlete? Let’s assume an athlete who has a bag of Takis or Doritos?
[00:20:44] Evonne Britton: Don’t eat that before you run or compete or have a game that is not the best thing, but we would have like they would bring like, you know, fruits like oranges, watermelon. We would have apples, like dried fruit, trail mix. We’d have granola bars, yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and stuff that you can easily digest that will give you energy. The sports drinks stay hydrated, water lots and lots of water. It’s not like anything crazy. You want to make sure that you have those things on a consistent basis.
[00:21:21] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So, developing through high school and getting the accolade, how did you feel when you were in your senior year when you won state? Or is that when you won state? Is that correct?
[00:21:29] Evonne Britton: Yeah, it was my senior year, and I had broken like records, so I still have the record that’s still at Chapin. It was the school record in the hurdles, so it was the 300 hurdles and the 100-meter hurdles. And yeah, no, we did the four by one, but we didn’t get that as a team.
[00:21:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When I went to school, I had some excellent track stars like Benny Blades, Brian Blades, Michael Irving. These are guys that were back in my era. And you know what? It feels good to go to your high school and see those banners and records because you will be able to go back and, you know, whenever time permits. And if you choose to have kids, you’ll be able to show them that their moms are up there. It’s pretty cool, huh? Yeah. Let me ask you some other questions in terms of nutrition. What made you decide to pursue a nutrition degree, and tell me a bit of your ascent into Penn State? Tell me a bit about how that happened.
Finding The Right Motivation
[00:22:25] Evonne Britton: So I did a lot of research on just nutrition. I was just interested in that subject because I think it was because I always watched and I understood that like what I put in my body affected, like how I felt. And there were some times where I wasn’t feeling like the best, like my stomach. I would have like indigestion, or I wasn’t feeling well or, you know. So it was more of a personal reason I wanted to understand. Like what food am I putting in my body that’s affecting me in the way that I’m feeling? And so just wanting to learn more about nutrition and how it affects the body and how it can heal and help you perform and know more about it. So that’s kind of why I was interested in nutrition, and I liked science. So I was like, I think that’s what I want to do.
[00:23:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you now that you. In college, and we’re going to travel a little bit in college a little bit, I want you to tell me a bit of your schedule in terms of school and the competitions and practice. Was that difficult for you, and how did you handle that?
[00:23:28] Evonne Britton: So yeah, we were going from high school where I was like on the top and feeling good. And then you go, you have so many different things you’re dealing with, like being away from your family or being alone. So now you are like a mini adult. You’re kind of like responsible in this little world, and you have these responsibilities, and you’re going to classes. You’re doing study hall. You have like dining commons where you have to eat. You have meetings as a team where you guys talk about team stuff, team goals, and then you’re practicing, so you’re sore, and then you’re trying to stay healthy and then manage everything. And then you also have to win the competition. When competition season comes around, you are expected to keep on top of your work while doing this and travel and then compete at the level we expect you to because you are here to like and represent our team. And so, yeah, at first, it was a little bit overwhelming because I would barely make it through the workouts, and I would be dying. I would be hiding in the corner, and then the coach is over here. And then like, so yeah, it was intense.
[00:24:47] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: How was the coach in Penn State or how were the coaches in Penn State?
[00:24:50] Evonne Britton: They were really good. So I had made my official visit, and it was between the top two. It was like Florida Gators, or it was like Penn State. Those are like my top two.
[00:24:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, I’m from Florida. My brother went to the University of Florida, Gainesville. You got talent there. There’s a lot of talent there. Yeah. So let me ask you about your coaches; who do you remember made the most significant impact in your life?
[00:25:16] Evonne Britton: It would have to be the coach that recruited me my freshman year. So that was Chris Johnson. He was the coach that recruited me. He got me faster. He, like, mentally challenged me, and he allowed me to get to World Champion Junior Olympics. And he would always like to talk to my dad and tell him, “Like, you know, Evonne, she’s doing good, but you know, I want her to work on this.” Or he would be talking to my dad all the time if there was something that he, I don’t know, wanted to tell him. So then my dad would speak to me.
[00:25:52] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I got to tell you right off the bat, you know what? You had a great coach. One of the things as parents and myself, a parent of an athlete, I wanted to get close. But there’s not a place for a dad in that area. I found that to be very rewarding when the coaches would allow you to be close to your child or be in the conversation. So that was amazing. Now I realize that that you’re very tight with your family. But how did you deal with the psychology of the sport in terms of how it affected you, and what did you have to do? What were the dragons you had to slay to go to the next level?
How To Conquer Your Inner Demons?
[00:26:29] Evonne Britton: Yeah. So track is like an individual sport, and I think any sport is like that. You have to focus on yourself and be in like this little bubble where you’re, I guess, like the zone, they call it, where you’re just all about yourself, and you don’t care about anybody else. Sometimes you get intimidated, or you’re not confident. And those little voices and that doubt affect your performance because you can train all day as hard as you want. But if you get on the line and you feel that you’re not ready, or you don’t trust that you’ve done your training correctly or that you’re just prepared, then that can throw you off just like that.
[00:27:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Evonne, how did you handle that? How did you handle those moments when you had to doubt yourself and talk to the individuals or the kids out there that want to pursue, and they have some demons to deal with, and that thought process shows up at the wrong moment. How do you how would you recommend handling it?
[00:27:34] Evonne Britton: I would say it happens. It happens. It’s natural, but don’t let that moment control your future. So what I mean by that is that if you feel that doubt or that creeps in your mind, that’s fine. Sometimes, I started and or I fell over the hurdle, and now, I’m like, scared to hurdle. But like, you have to know that you can do it, so you have to move forward. Don’t think about the past and like, dwell in that and, you know, be all like, have a sob story like, you are not that important. More people are doing more things that you need to realize that you want to do. You can do it; the only way you will be able to accomplish that is if you keep trying because you can only get better, so you just have to keep moving forward.
[00:28:26] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Who is the coach that helped you with the mind thinking? Because I believe that’s one of the most important parts of the training. Who were the people around you, and what would happen?
[00:28:36] Evonne Britton: Yeah, so mentally, there was a sports psychologist that we had at Penn State, and we would talk about like this how-to get into the zone or have a routine. How to pump yourself up, or giving yourself a pep talk, and that was the thing. He would say those things, but it didn’t start to click until later, like maybe my senior year of college or after I graduated, and it was just from reading a book. I don’t know. It was like this book that I had read is called “The Mental Edge,” and then also just talking to my family. And then like, just saying like, Yeah, you’ve been running for a while. And so you’re at the level now where you know what you need to do; you need to be able to execute and be able to do that. So then I just realized that I could do it like, you know. So you need to know that you can do it. You are capable.
[00:29:33] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Evonne, what was the happiest or not the happiest? But let’s say the moment that you remember the most in Penn State in terms of competition.
[00:29:41] Evonne Britton: OK, Penn State in terms of competition. Because it was there were a few, so the first one…
[00:29:48] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Any one will do.
[00:29:50] Evonne Britton: It would have to be the first international competition I went to in Canada, where I won in the U.S. in both the 100 hurdles and the 300 hurdles. So I made it in both of those events to go to the Junior Olympics in Moncton, Canada, and that was the first international competition that my parents went to with me, and it was fun. It was a good moment.
[00:30:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That was a good moment. Well, I’ll tell you what there’s so much to talk to you about, from physiology to even the sport itself. And we’ll do it on other podcasts. But I want to get through the dreams of where you’re going with your sport and where do you see yourself going in the next chapter in your life?
Battling The Hurdles
[00:30:36] Evonne Britton: So I think I have like a good Olympics and then another Olympics because it’s every four years. And I usually think that’s how people like to train. Still, we’ll see how it goes because track is a lot on your body, especially the mentally, physically, and emotionally hurdles. After all, you have to manage relationships and stuff like that. But I see myself training for this Olympics. And my goal is to make the team and be in the Olympics.
[00:31:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: When is the next Summer Olympics? When is it?
[00:31:08] Evonne Britton: Hopefully, it will be in 2021 in July.
[00:31:11] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Nice, in Tokyo. All right. And we’re heading out there. Well, I’ll tell you what that is amazing to be able to be talking to you personally. It’s an honor to speak with you because though you don’t think maybe you’re that cool; there’s a lot of people who think you’re cool. So, we got to get that story out. Tell me a bit about your preparation for that next stage.
[00:31:37] Evonne Britton: So the Olympics, it’s going to be some intense training. We have a weight room; we have conditioning; we have technique and then like maintenance, recovery, making sure that my body is healthy. The main thing is to make sure that my body is healthy and the competition. So we’ll start at the end of January.
[00:32:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Where are the training centers going to be like Colorado or?
[00:32:04] Evonne Britton: So I’m training in California. So there are a couple of different training centers. My coaches, specifically in California. So I trained there with him, and he does all of my workouts and stuff.
[00:32:16] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Are you ready? Are you ready to start the beginning of the ramp-up again?
[00:32:20] Evonne Britton: Yeah, I’m ready to like, start competing again and getting out there, and I’m excited.
[00:32:25] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Are you going to do anything different this time at all or any ideas?
Be In The Moment
[00:32:30] Evonne Britton: I just want to be in the moment.
[00:32:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, be in the moment, what does that mean?
[00:32:37] Evonne Britton: That means like every opportunity I want to, I want to try to do my best and everything that I possibly can and just give it all I got for this year because that I’m giving myself that time. I want to see what I can do if I just provide it with everything and just do everything I’m supposed to do right now.
[00:32:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Evonne, I want to digress a little bit, and I know that we’re going to be watching you in this whole city. El Paso will be looking to see what you do because it’s just how our community wraps around people regarding athletes and injuries in the past. Have you had to overcome injuries?
[00:33:17] Evonne Britton: Yeah. Injuries are it’s something that you can prevent. But sometimes you don’t know, so it happens just like that. There are a few injuries. I had a knee injury, then most recently, I had slight minor injuries here and there. Nothing too major.
[00:33:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, like an athlete at that level, I think you’re always at the point of some injury, whether you’re Hussein Bolt or something in the furthest extreme of something, we’ve seen him blow a hamstring in the middle of a run and the development and the return. So in terms of the recovery in, let’s say you’re injured, someone has an injury of a bit of an issue. How do you recommend an athlete work through that and mentally navigate back to their thing again?
[00:34:12] Evonne Britton: You have to just mentally first; you have to figure out the problem and then go to someone who can help you. Do you want to make sure your coaches communicate what’s going on with them? Because people often think they can just get through certain things, but you should listen to your body. So making sure that your coach understands that you know you’re injured and then get the help you need first and healing properly because you don’t want to be partially healed and then go too soon back into it where you can’t give your 100, so I say just take your time and just focus on healing. And then once you’re there, you know, the rehab and then the passion and all that stuff will come back later, but you just have to take it to step one step at a time, and it’s a process.
[00:35:01] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I notice that you have a degree in nutrition and an advanced degree in nutrition. Let me ask you this. How do you do it for yourself to come back in terms of the nutrition and the recovery process, as well as the healing process of just being a competitor at that level?
The Healing Process
[00:35:21] Evonne Britton: Yes. So when you’re recovering, your body needs certain nutrients just to maintain and then surpass and recover. And so you have something called a total daily energy expenditure, which is what you just at resting by just sitting here and breathing. Not even walking doesn’t include walking. It doesn’t include exercise. It doesn’t include healing, just what you need for your body. So when you’re injured, you need to focus on just making sure that your body is getting the nutrients it needs. So from vitamins, macronutrients to micronutrients, just everything.
[00:36:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: in terms of like, you know, when we’re looking at athletes. One of the areas that we work on and typically begin is the core area. So the core becomes one of the most optimal areas to start expanding. Whether you’re in tennis or volleyball or running, the core plays a massive component in it. Let me ask you this when you look at developing physiology, or as you run and you do those exercises, I notice that you have a beautiful website, and we’re going to go ahead and reflect on that. Let me go ahead and see if I can do that right there, and you can see that you have dynamics and you discuss. That’s a beautiful Facebook. It’s Go Evo Go; how did that happen?
[00:36:46] Evonne Britton: Well, they called me Evo in college. So I was also the most improved. So from my freshman year to my senior year, I got the most improved award. So Evo is just like, evolved continuously. Just Evonne, I don’t know.
[00:37:06] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Now I notice that you and the reason I’m talking about the core as I was heading into it, you do a lot of pilates. Oh yeah. Joseph Pilates was a real big core guy with your eye for philosophy on the core.
[00:37:19] Evonne Britton: Well, it’s kind of like something that people overlook, but it’s the core meaning like is that it’s the center, so you need to make sure that’s good before anything else because if your core is weak, which I am learning, and that’s why I’ve been focused on like making sure I’m doing all the little things like this core work. And it’s very technical. I didn’t realize that it’s so learning about pilates. They have you connect with your mind like you’re thinking about what you want your body to do. And that’s like something that I’ve been learning to take those relations and use in my sport just to make sure that my body is in line.
[00:38:05] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Now I know I had a conversation with you in the past. You like doing yoga and pilates, and different types of stretching sports are dynamics. Tell me a little about that.
[00:38:13] Evonne Britton: So yeah, I started doing that. Like, maybe two years ago when I had a yoga instructor, and she told me, like, Well, your hips are tight, and I didn’t realize they were super tight. I couldn’t even do an Indian cross-legged. So just that let me know, like just that alone, just working on just my flexibility because flexibility plays a crucial role in your strength and running.
[00:38:40] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Has that changed your ability now that you’re wiser? Has pilates and yoga assisted you in your dynamics in your sports competition? Yes, definitely. Also, tell me a bit about it. What do you notice different and for those who want to learn? I mean, tell me a bit of how you perceive it and how it’s affected you, you know? You know, in a way or two.
[00:39:04] Evonne Britton: I’ve incorporated it into my warmups. And so it’s just become a part of my routine. It helps me to be able to, well, prevent injuries, one like my major injuries. And then also with my running time, it has allowed dropped my time.
[00:39:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s important. Yes. You know, all sports, whether boxing or running or volleyball. These all benefit from yoga and pilates, and tai chi. If that matters, mind things like spiritual meditation, do you do it? Yes. Tell me a little about that.
Calm Your Mind
[00:39:38] Evonne Britton: That’s also another thing, just being able to calm your mind and breathe and to just focus on what’s going on inside, that’s important. I pray all the time, five times to be exact, five times every day, but prayer is essential. I am just making sure that my mind is clear and I have a clear conscience. I think that’s important when you’re training because you need just to know that what you’re doing, there’s a reason why you’re doing. I’m not just doing this; I am doing this for me. But at the same time, I want to show other people that I like if I can work hard and if I can do this and believe in what I’m doing, then anyone can do that because if I can do it, I think anyone can do it.
[00:40:31] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: What’s your thinking process? And I just want to touch on that because a lot of us want to be there in that moment when you’re kind of like getting ready to take off. If we can go to that split second in mind, what are you thinking, and how do you clean up and flush out your brain? Or what do you do? And how do you walk up to as you guys prepare to launch in a run?
[00:40:55] Evonne Britton: Okay. So during the warm-up, you’re going over like, OK, well, you need to focus on the race. And then it kind of just becomes automatic. So at the line, all you’re waiting for is the reaction you want to react, and you want to go because just like second, as soon as the gun goes off, you have like a second, you can either win the race, or you can lose a race at the start. That’s how serious the 100 hurdles or the 60-meter hurdles are. You don’t have time to think; you just need to relax, and then you react.
[00:41:35] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: That’s how you get into it high and then back off; you’re off. Yeah, and you’re off into the run. Well, let me go someplace else in terms of the future for you, and what do you see yourself doing in the future?
[00:41:47] Evonne Britton: I see myself helping other athletes, whether it’s through nutrition, through performance, through just them trying to be the best that they can be. I’m really into just health and just helping the athlete all around. So from, you know, mentally to physically. In whatever way that they need to be helped because I realized.
[00:42:15] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you, you have many people, many talents, and a lot of different groups of individuals because you’re so strong in your spirituality. How do you help the athlete tie that into their lives? And how do you do it for yourself?
[00:42:32] Evonne Britton: It’s just naturally a part of like I know that I’ve I would not have gone here where I am without the help of God because he controls everything. So really, I’m very grateful, and I’m thankful that I’m where I am. And so just being grateful and showing gratitude and waking up, I usually wake up, and I have like, what is it called? Where do you just like repeat things that you’re grateful for? A mantra? Yeah, not a mantra. Like, I just write down things that I’m thankful for. Just three things like, Yeah, I’m grateful for my family, or I’m grateful that I’m feeling great today and today’s going to be great, you know, I’m going to try my best.
[00:43:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, isn’t it nice, you know, to be able to reflect because no matter how bad your day is, you can always come up with a few things that you got good, right? Right. And you have to be thankful for, you know, appreciation and gratitude. It tends to empower us, and it is one of the most important things, even as an athlete. And you don’t realize it so much when you’re going through it. But as you can reflect on your life, it’s the appreciation for the people. You had its gratitude to your God. You have to center God in the distance and fire through whatever you’re going through but direct in the direction of God. So I love that. So how did you because I notice that you are very spiritual, connected, and beautiful to see? How do you how did that? How did you connect that, and how do you push the young people you work with to understand their spiritual component?
[00:44:17] Evonne Britton: That is something that I feel is very important. I don’t push anything on anyone. I just let them know through just like little techniques that they can do, like with their daily things of just writing what they want in and knowing that you know, you can either look at the negative or look at the positive. And so to look at the positive side just kind of like not so much like pushing, you know, anything on anyone. I just show them who I am and then hopefully by them, just seeing leading by example.
Finding Guidance Through Your Mentors
[00:44:51] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Who are your mentors? Who are your mentors in terms of spirituality? How do you see yourself in and who you are kind of like, you know, these are individuals that you like, Wow, this is where I love going the direction.
[00:45:08] Evonne Britton: Well, one person that I’ve always looked up to, who is a very spiritual and a phenomenal athlete boxer, Muhammad Ali. I just loved his attitude and his confidence. But at the same time, he was humbled. Like he knew that the only reason he was the greatest was because of the greatest, which was God. So he was very confident in himself, and I think he was because he knew that. God had his back, so I don’t know, it was like a weird type of thing, but he’s one of the great people that I like to look up to as far as a well-known person. But my mom, of course, my dad. They’re also very spiritually connected and make sure that we’re on track.
[00:46:02] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: So staying on track. You know what? I can tell you this that, you know, we can’t make it without our parents, and that basis is the beginning of where we come from. I’ve been told that you got to know where you come from and to where you’re going in life and when you can reflect. You can see the folks out there, even though you don’t; they may not be out there, but they’re out there watching, and some electronic world and they’re seeing how you’re doing, what gives you the greatest joy in life; in terms of you?
[00:46:31] Evonne Britton: I like to see what I can do. I want to set a goal and try to accomplish it. I think the journey is just overcoming the obstacles that you may face. It’s not about the destination, but it’s about just the journey and what you learn and how it makes you a stronger person. I think that is what I enjoy, like setting a goal and saying, OK, this is what I want to do. Whatever it is, whether it’s like I want to get this degree or I want this career or I want to make this much money, or I want to run this time just to have a clear goal and then go after it and see if you do everything that you can. If you can, how close can you get to that goal? And I think just constantly challenging myself, I always like that, and I think that’s just the athlete in me. I’m very competitive, and I want to win.
[00:47:26] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Evonne, you mentioned the journey and versus that moment in time when you’re competing; what do you mean by the journey? Tell me a bit of the journey that you want to kind of experience?
[00:47:35] Evonne Britton: The journey is like climbing the hill, and you want to get to the top. But the journey is just maybe the stumble that you might have. Like, if you know you might be sore a day, or you might have tweaked something, or you don’t always feel like you want to run, or maybe you have something that in your way where it prevents you from going overseas or, you know, a pandemic, but you control what’s in your within your control. There are so many unknowns that we can’t control, so I try to keep it to like, what can I do that can help me get to where I want to be, regardless of what’s going on around me. There’s always something.
[00:48:20] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Let me ask you this in terms of the new journey you mentioned earlier that you want to go into, and you’re headed into preparation for the Olympics. What are the things you’re going to be doing? What will you be doing in terms of preparation for the journey?
[00:48:33] Evonne Britton: I’m going to be going to practice and training every day. I’m going to be just making sure my nutrition is on point and then I’m, you know, making sure I’m eating correctly and getting those nutrients, making sure that me and my coach, we were on the same page as far as like my goals and how we plan to get there. Just setting a schedule so that it’s manageable with managing, you know, school grad school and then also my competitions when I’m traveling overseas so that I don’t like to get over overwhelmed and so that I’m able to stay focused just like little things like that, making sure I’m like doing my stretching and, you know, my yoga and just little things like that on my own as well to keep everything balanced.
[00:49:22] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: I’m going to tell you, pretty much you have a confident strut to your walk and your energy. It exudes confidence. It does. And I know this seems kind of odd by myself saying that. But instantly, when you walk into a room and meet someone like yourself, there’s a presence that has an aura to it. And that’s something that it’s your lineage; it’s your God transcending through you. It’s your security. It makes a lot of particularly young females very proud to be around you. Have you thought about yourself as a leader and how you see yourself in the future leading and young females, for example?
Evonne As A Team Leader
[00:50:05] Evonne Britton: Yeah, I find myself a leader. I was a team captain that led my Penn State team to a Big Ten championship, but that’s just like on the team level. I always felt I was a leader because I am confident and know what I’m capable of. But at the same time, I want to like, learn from other people, and listen because I’m always like learning from other people. And so, just knowing who I am, I know who I am. And I like that confidence because nobody can tell me to do something. After all, I know who I am. I’m not sure if that makes any sense.
[00:50:50] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: It makes perfect sense. When did you develop it? When did you get that dynamic ability to be a leader for a team of that level in terms of Penn State when you did that? What was it, and what was it during your junior year senior year? Was it early on? When did that mature?
[00:51:09] Evonne Britton: So only seniors can be captains. Well, I learned, so I like to listen and learn. So just from the other seniors, I want to ask questions I like to know, like, how do we get this championship or how do I run this time? Or what do I need to do? And if someone like says, Look, you need to do this, or you need to make sure you’re talking to the coach, or you need to make sure when you practice, you’re laid out by the end of the practice or, you know, whatever. I like to ask questions and then get answers to be more informed. And so I think by asking questions, I’m always curious to know, and I always want to surround myself with people at that level. So I always want to be with the faster people because I want to be that fast.
[00:52:02] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You know, the why is always important, the why that makes you run. You see, I’m going to give a little break here. I would have a little bit of video here, and we’re going to play it. You’re going to see what the why is and a little bit into who you are, and I want to present it. And even if Facebook doesn’t like it, we’re going to play it, and then we’ll have to cut it back, and we’ll work on it later. OK, so when you look at that, you can see a little bit of story here.
[00:52:29] Evonne Britton: Right now, I got it.
[00:52:37] Evonne Britton: So track has been like a passion of mine, it’s like could you wake up, and that’s what drives me nuts? It’s like I feel like I wake up every day and know. My name is Evonne Britton. I have been running the hurdles since I was 12-years-old. I go to Penn State University, where I still have the university’s 60-meter world hurdle record. And I have been working hard and training for the Olympics. Sports have been a massive part of my life. All of my siblings. We were a big sports family. So my older brother plays football at Texas Tech. My sister plays volleyball as well.
[00:53:44] Evonne Britton: My two younger brothers did all the sports as well.
[00:53:45] Evonne Britton: They play basketball. And they ran track, and so it was only natural to find my sport. I have been taking advantage of this time since the 2020 Olympics has been canceled. So in times like that, it shows you that you can’t always control things in life. So only focus on what you can control, which I have learned.
[00:54:32] Evonne Britton: Track for me is not a sport, but it’s kind of like the way I lived.
[00:54:33] Evonne Britton: Since I was younger, it’s just helped me in so many things in life.
[00:54:48] Evonne Britton: So getting that work ethic and understanding that one time.
[00:54:52] Evonne Britton: You have to put in the work no matter what it is. And when you put in the work, things will work out.
[00:54:59] Evonne Britton: All the way.
[00:55:01] Evonne Britton: If you have ups and downs, you can always overcome those obstacles. Stay focused and know what it is that you are going for. And I feel that is what drove me to be better than I was. I think that track has impacted my life to be better. Whatever goals I have, that’s why I love track.
[00:55:57] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Wow, that was amazing. You know what I know that gave me some time to ask a specific set of questions and one I’d like to know a bit of what you think and when it’s important to you. OK, tell me a few of your thoughts on what things you want to go over because that was an excellent understanding of why? Please tell me what you can elaborate on.
[00:56:19] Evonne Britton: OK, so well, pretty much the video summed up everything when we were talking about the journey and how sometimes you might face some obstacles. I wanted to go a little more in detail about what I meant by that. So an example would have been like when I had injured my left knee, and I had surgery, and I was out. I could not walk for like six months. And so during that time, that was the journey that I was overcome at that moment was I was facing an injury, and I didn’t know if I was going to be able to walk again, let alone run again. And so during that time, I had to when my mom came, and she supported me for like a couple of weeks. So that was good having that support and then my teammates surrounding me with them. As well as like my trainers and just having like a support system, I’m outside, but then also inside my faith, that was where I was like praying all the time, and I was fasting, and I was in control of that. And so things will get hard. The road is not easy. There’s going to be ups, and there’s going to be downs. Sometimes more downs, it may seem, than up. But during those times, you have to surround yourself with positive people, and you have to have faith. So that’s kind of what I wanted to elaborate on.
[00:57:59] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: Well, I’ll tell you what, that’s amazing because I think we kind of we didn’t gloss over it, but it’s important to understand those moments and understand that the people you surround yourself with because we are the total sum of the people around us and the spirits around us. I got to tell you, it’s been a beautiful dynamic here, and literally, we can talk for years, and I want to have you back as often as you want to be back. And we want to get mom’s point of view, too, because I believe that the parental understanding of your development is critical from a parental point of view. After all, we try to change the people we serve. Ultimately, whatever we do, whether you’re a dentist, a teacher, or a preacher, you benefit humankind if you’re into anything. So I believe that in my assist, in my desire to present individuals, I want to see how we can change people’s lives for the better and let them know that they’re not alone and how they can improve their lives. But I also want to be able to present individuals that that that have a deep insight into the deep chasms of the mind and also the development of an individual as it progresses. So I love the fact that you are very spiritual. It seems to be the transcendent thread that runs between you, the future, and the past. So it’s a cool thing. I want people to find you, too. So I would like to present here the websites we have you on Go Evo Go.com. Wonderful. Now that’s amazing. You jumped pretty high there. And you have these beautiful sites, so we want to watch you on the go Evo go. We got you on Facebook. Go Evo, go. And boy, I can see that there’s a lot of dynamics on nails and techniques. And I think you do some, some a little bit of story and you got to go. I saw myself in there, and I think I was videotaped working on your joints. And then we also have…
[01:00:00] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC*: You here in this particular area here for Facebook, so it’s pretty much a go Evo go, and it’s an important part to be able to look for you and to let you know that we are very proud of you. We’re very proud of you. And I know it’s hard to take that in sometimes. But I guess we’ll kind of. And I always said it when I turned 50. I understand I’m 50, so I’m not fat. But the idea is to think about where you’ll be one day reflecting on your life and how many people you impacted, and how your community came together with you. So I look forward to hearing from you and all the dynamics. Anything else you want to leave with your presence here today?
[01:00:39] Evonne Britton: I’m just happy to have the support and have on my El Paso fam having my support and just following me on my journey.
[01:00:48] Dr. Alex Jimenez DC *: Yeah. So we’re going to be watching what we’re all going to be watching, and you’ve made an impact on so many people in your presence. You’ve helped my family; you’ve helped my daughter through her interesting dynamics of just being a little bit part of the sport itself. So we all appreciate that we appreciate everything you do, and we see your kindness. We see the transcendent energy of your ancestors coming through and the love that is perpetuating forward. And I got to tell you; there’s a lot of love in you. There is a lot of love in you, and it’s transcending far. So I know your parents are proud of you, and I reach out to them and say, Hey, you know what? Kudos, parents, you guys are amazing. You guys have done a fantastic job with all your children. And we have a book there from the family that you guys got to write on how to develop the whole family through these dynamics. So I wish you all the best and anything else. I love it. Thank you. You’re very, very welcome. And we’re going to go down now.
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