SwollMateSaturday: Jabari and Krista Whitehead


Read about how long-standing member Jabari and his wife Krista got involved in CrossFit, how exercise plays a big roll in their 12 years of marriage and why Jabari locked lips with a pig (and how Krista felt about it!) in SwollMateSaturday!

Q(Jabari): Why did you want Krista to join CrossFit? How did you persuade her to come and try it out at DelVal?

A: I love having a shared interest and passion with Krista. I have always been impressed by her athleticism and muscles :-) I love seeing her competitive spirit in action. Since we first met almost 20 years ago, working out has always been a priority in our relationship. We selected our honeymoon resort based on their fitness facility. With regard to persuading Krista to do anything, it does not work. She works in research and is the ultimate skeptic. However, it did help that I had some great friendships develop at CFDV. She saw firsthand the kind of community we have at CFDV and understood why it meant so much to me. Krista has always been good about letting me be me and doing her own thing. I’m just happy that she decided to hop into the mix. It only magnifies our connection.

Q(Krista): Who started CrossFit first? How did Jabari finally get you to give CrossFit a shot? 

A: Jabari started CrossFit at DelVal about 9 years ago and I just started last August. It wasn’t really a matter of Jabari convincing me to try CrossFit. He knows me well enough to know that trying to persuade me wasn’t going to work. I needed to make the decision on my own. Over the years of watching Jabari do CrossFit and meeting a lot of the other gym members in social situations I had a feeling that I would really enjoy it. However, for years I felt like with my job, our two kids, and working around Jabari’s work and gym schedule I just didn’t know how I’d be able to make it to class consistently. I had been working out at home (or running outside) for about 9 years (since our first child was born) and while it was convenient and efficient I was getting bored. I wanted a challenge and wanted to add more strength training to my workouts. I think Jabari was shocked when I told him out of the blue last summer that I wanted to try CrossFit. His response was, “You aren’t going to TRY it. You are going to DO it!”. He knew that once I started I would fall in love with CrossFit, and he was right!


Q(Jabari): Do you and Krista partner together for workouts a lot? Do you guys come at the same class times or different class times? 

A: Partner together… Um… Nope :-) We give each other space. If there are no other options and we are forced to, then I’m fine with it. Seriously, we use that time to focus on our own individual fitness journey. I can’t lie, I do take a peek at my lady during bootcamp. Seeing her fitness in action makes me happy, happy, happy. As far as class times, we are polar opposites. I’m an early riser for the 5:15am class and she rocks out the 7pm slot. We do come together on the weekends though.

Q(Krista): How did you and Jabari meet? How long have you guys been together? (pre-married years + married years) 

A: Jabari and I met in a bar in State College. I graduated from Penn State the previous spring and was up there for a football weekend and visiting friends. He was also there for the football game with friends and visiting his sister. I asked him to dance, which is ironic because I’m a pretty terrible dancer and he is probably the best dancer I know. The rest is history…. I guess my terrible dancing didn’t scare him off. We were together for almost seven years before we got married and we have now been married for 12 (and a half- he will want credit for the half) years.  

Q(Jabari): What is one of your favorite things about having Krista in the gym with you? Do you think having someone there keeps you motivated and accountable?

A: My favorite thing about having Krista in the gym is sharing a passion/hobby again. I’m still awestruck by her presence. She is the best athlete in our house. Another great benefit with having this shared interest is coming to CFDV as a family. Our active lifestyle as parents serve as models for our children. When we all come to CFDV together it’s like here comes team Whitehead.


Q(Krista):What is one of your favorite things about having Jabari in the gym with you? Do you think having someone there keeps you motivated and accountable?
A: What I like most about having Jabari in the gym with me is that it means there is someone there who sweats more than I do. Seriously though, it is great to be able to share and celebrate each other's accomplishments as well as to commiserate after a really tough workout. He has a lot of experience so he gives me a lot of advice and encouragement. It definitely helps keep me motivated and accountable to have him there as well. Knowing that he was awake at 4:30 a.m. and completed the WOD before I even get out of bed most mornings motivates me to get myself to the gym after work and try to beat his score/time. Just kidding- I don’t beat him at anything, except running. 

Q(Jabari): Do you and Krista meal prep together? How important is focusing on your nutrition for you guys? 
A: No, we do not meal prep together. Krista is an outstanding cook though. She has a ridiculously busy schedule. She somehow manages to make meals for us during the week. We use Blue Apron. I attempt to meal prep but not consistently. It is definitely an area to grow in. Even without meal prep, my mindset towards nutrition has changed significantly over the last almost two years and it continues to evolve. Krista actually has a degree in Nutrition Science.

Q(Krista): Tell us the story about Jabari kissing a pig. How do you feel about Jabari kissing a pig in front of a bunch of little kids?

A: A few years ago Jabari challenged the students at his school to read a certain number of books as part of a school-wide reading challenge. Their incentive was that if they reached their collective goal he would kiss a pig. The students exceeded the goal and he upheld his end of the bargain by locking lips (sort of) with a pretty good sized pig on stage in front of the whole school and news cameras. I thought it was great. I love the way Jabari connects with the kids and doesn’t take himself too seriously in this kind of situation. 


Q(Jabari): What is something about Krista that many people might not know about her just by looking at her? If you got a call in the middle of the night saying she was arrested- what would she be arrested for? 

A: While appearing to be so kind and sweet, she is highly efficient in demonstrating the flip side. Truck drivers may be proud of her :-) Oh yeah.. she is a pretty good trash talker. As far as being arrested for anything, it would never happen. Krista is a rule follower to the utmost. 

Q(Krista): How do you feel about Phil and Jabari’s bro-mance? How serious is this bro-mance? 
A: Phil is a great guy and I know Jabari has a lot of respect for him and I think he motivates Jabari to work hard so he likes having Phil around. They have partnered together for a few competitions, and actually have one coming up in November. They used to partner together for workouts a lot when they both did 5:15 am classes. Phil has since left the Early Birds crew so now they only get to partner during bootcamp sometimes on Sundays. When Jabari says that he and I partner together “if there are no other options” he mostly means “if Phil isn’t there”. I guess as long as I get to be Jabari’s swolemate the rest of the week I can handle Phil being his swolemate on Sundays.