Our August Athlete of the Month is all about balance, keeping a busy schedule of family, work and fitness commitments moving at a high-level. He's often seen at our early classes, often BEFORE the gym opens! We're excited to highlight the ever-smiling Jabari Whitehead!
You’ve been known to show up at DelVal at 4:45 am and flip tire in the parking lot. Where does your motivation stem from? What are some tips to other athletes struggling to find the motivation to workout?
Well, most mornings when I arrive at CFDV I run a ladder of 800m, 600m, 400m, and 200m to build my aerobic capacity (follow Chris Hinshaw... so worth it!!!). However, I do get the tire flips in when I’m feeling shifty, low-down, filthy and grimy!
The first contributing factor to my motivation that struggling athletes can follow is finding your “WHY”. WHY do you need to be your best self? What is your “WHY” that is greater than yourself? My “WHY” is my family and the quality of life we can have together.
Secondly, BE BRAVE not PERFECT and know that you are more than enough to deserve what lies ahead.
Thirdly, don’t be so hard on yourself with negative thoughts. Instead PRACTICE GRATITUDE as much as you can and live in the moment. Open your eyes to the goodness all around you. Celebrate small victories because you are loved. You only have control over the moment that you are currently in.
Lastly, find a partner, family, or friend willing to take the journey with you. I am fortunate to have to crazy siblings that wake up at 4am like me to DO WORK!!!! We text each other upon waking up every day and make sure nobody is slacking.
You have a son and daughter- rumor has it you make them workout in your living room. Do the kids love it/hate it? What’s their favorite movement that you’ve shown them so far?
Oh - make no mistake... It’s not a rumor! It is a fact that we do AMRAPs at home in the living room, basement, back yard, at the playground, etc. We teach our children STRONG MIND and STRONG BODY. You only get one, so be extraordinary.
Both of our children are highly active (sports) and held responsible for being their best selves. They typically will do combos of sit-ups, pushups, and air squats. Recently, they have incorporated farmer’s carry with dumbbells, running, jumping rope, burpees, and decline pushups. They have a love/hate relationship with it. But, they never complain and can be found making up their own workouts when I am not around. Our daughter Avery likes sit-ups the most and our son Evan loves showing off his pushups.
Do you currently have any CrossFit goals or nutritional goals? Do you have any goals outside of CrossFit?
Last year (July 2017) when I began this journey I was 236 lbs and now I am maintaining my weight at 190-195lbs. I make sure to eat high quality foods throughout each day as well as using MyFitnessPal app for accountability. To date I have been logging in for 390 days consecutively and it’s made all the difference.
My Crossfit goal is to be an all around better athlete and to increase my conditioning.
My goal outside of Crossfit is to be a better father, husband, brother, son and educational leader today than I was yesterday.
What’s one thing that people in the gym might not know about you?
I always wanted to be part of a break-dancing crew. I at times watch old episodes of America’s Best Dance Crew. I wish I were a B-Boy!
What made you join CrossFit DelVal? What is your favorite part about the DelVal community?
I joined CFDV back in 2010 after being introduced to it by Maura Buri. Maura is a great person and is a school board member in Upper Merion School District where I used to work. She was a coach at CFDV. I started in summer 2010 and haven’t looked back. My favorite part of the community has been the supportive positive relationships. The relationships go beyond the workouts and fitness. At CFDV, we have found an added sense of belonging to our lives.
You’re handed two plane tickets to anywhere in the world- where you going and who are you taking with you?
If I were handed two plane tickets to anywhere I would love to tour the Mediterranean countries and Northern Africa countries. Without a doubt I would take my incredible wife Krista. We would enjoy wine, beach, sun, hiking, and meeting all the diverse people. To watch a Mediterranean sunset with the woman I adore would be priceless.
You recently became a Doctor of Education. What's the best part of your job - and you can't say 'summers off'!
As far as earning my doctorate in Educational Leadership, it starts a new journey. I enjoy my role in ensuring equity in education for all children and people who serve them. More importantly seeing passionate teachers and the smile and laughter of children everyday brings me joy. By the way - principals don’t get the summers off! ;-)