Meet Justin

Founder of Mission Strong

I love CrossFit and I love to coach.  As I write this it is October of 2017 and up until this point my bio consisted of 5 sentences.  I don’t particularly care to talk about myself.  I believe actions speak better than words.  Yet, several of our long time members suggested that I post a more complete bio to give people an opportunity to see how Mission CrossFit came to be.  So here I go.  We became a CrossFit Affiliate in 2009 after about a year of coaching CrossFit workouts at the the park next to our home and in our garage.  In 2011 we opened our first location which was just over 2,000 square feet.  About a year later we added another 4,000 square feet to accommodate our growing membership.  In August of 2016 we moved to our current location which added another 1,000 square feet of workout space.  We have offered both adult and kids classes from the very beginning.  We are proud that Mission CrossFit has been a launching point for other CrossFit gyms.  One of our former Head Coaches opened up CrossFit Reform in RSM and has a very successful gym.  Aliso CrossFit and CrossFit Arc were members of our before they opened the respective gyms.

In 2008 I obtained my CrossFit Level 1certificate.  This was an exciting time in CrossFit as the seminars were being taught by some of the original CrossFit Firebreathers.  Josh Everett, Chris Spealler, Stephen Rochet, Dave Castro, and Greg Glassman himself were at my seminar.  I attended alongside future CrossFit Games Champion Kristen Clever.  In 2009 I obtained my CrossFit Kids Certificate.  In 2011 I obtained myCrossFit Level 2 certificate.  These certificates are good for 5 years.  I re-certified my Level 2 in July of 2016.  I am currently working towards my CrossFit Level 3.  This has a pre-requisite of 750 hours of CrossFit coaching.   I have the hours and have qualified to take the extensive written exam which I am currently preparing for.

What got me into CrossFit?

The short answer is, I was a Police Officer looking for a program that could prepare me for the unknown of Uniformed Patrol duties.  The long answer started way before being introduced to the official CrossFit programming in 2005.  My parents were active individuals and exposed me to all sorts of activities.  My earliest childhood memory was cutting the bottom of my foot in a river in North Carolina.  I though I got bit by an aligator that inhabited these waters.  It was on this river that my parents taught me how to slalom water ski at the age of 6.  I remember knee boarding and my father losing his swim trunks when he tried to barefoot ski.  My Mother was a special education teacher and my Father a helicopter in the United States Marine Corp.  I wandered the woods playing army with the neighbor kids.  Soccer was the first organized sport my parents put me in and I continued to play into college.


At 8 years old I started Taekwondo with my Father on the Marine Corps Air Station on Oahu.  I earned my black belt before he did. Only because he would get deployed for 6 months at a time.  Today, my Father is a retired Marine and owns a Taekwondo studio.  He has since earned his Senior Master title.  Teaching and coaching is in my blood.  My mother and father both do it and I have learned a tremendous amount from their example.  Taekwondo shaped my love for teaching and coaching.  I remember as a eight year old in just my second Taekwondo class I was given the opportunity to teach the other eight year old who was there for his first day.  I taught him the high block.  It was that very moment that I experienced the joy that teaching gives.  Taekwondo gave me numerous opportunities to teach.  At 12 years old I joined the Junior Instructor Program and earned over 1000 hours of instructing classes by the time I left for college.


As a youth my parents kept me outside as much as possible.  I played football, basketball, roller hockey, and every imaginable game of tag the neighborhood kids could come up with.  In junior high I played for the schools lacrosse team.  In high school I did Cross Country as a Freshman to avoid taking a normal PE class.  I also did soccer and volleyball that year.  I’m not very tall so my volleyball career ended after that first season.  So, in subsequent years I did track and field.  I ran a 4:54 mile and earned my Track Varsity Letter doing Pole Vault.  Soccer was my primary sport.  As a three year Varsity athlete I was voted Team Captain my senior year and earned All League and Scholar athlete honors.

It was my love for sports and the human body and mind that led me to pursue my Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise and Human Physiology from Brigham Young University.  In college I realized I was a better coach than an athlete.  I coached a few youth teams and worked the summer sports camps. I played for BYU’s Club Soccer team off and on.  No special accolades at that level.  I learned how to be a good role player and teammate.  For the first time in my life I was bench player.  This taught me a tremendous lesson on humility but I also realized how much I loved being a part of a team.  Our team won multiple National Club Championships and I can proudly say I was a part of that.

After College

Right out of College I went into Law Enforcement.  I was lucky to be hired by the Newport Beach Police Department who sent me to the Orange County Sheriffs Academy.  I graduated in October of 2003 having completed the 6 month academy course thinking that was the hardest thing I had ever done.  Turns out the academy was the easy part.  After the academy a new officer enters the departments field training program where they spend another 6 months learning how to actually be a police officer.  I struggled.  I struggled with working the night shift,  6:30 pm to 6:30 am.  I struggled with just about everything.  It took me eight months to get through the field training program.  Again, a very humbling experience.  But, being a Police Officer is what I really wanted to do.  So I worked and worked at becoming better.  When you struggle to get through training you don’t really have much respect from your fellow officers and rightfully so.  You need to be able to do the job.  They need to be able to count on you to help them if they need it. Lives are at stake and the standards are high.  I wanted to be trusted and a guy my fellow officers could rely on.  It took a lot of time but I was able to do this.  In 2007 I became the departments bicycle officer instructor.  In 2008 I realized I was gaining the trust of my fellow officers when after my third attempt  I made the department’s SWAT team.  In 2009 I became a member of the departments defensive tactics instructor staff.  I left the Police Department in May of 2011 to pursue being a CrossFit Coach full time and to grow Mission CrossFit.  My time as a Police officer gave me both my best days and hardest days.  I loved what I did and am grateful to have served alongside so many great men and women at NBPD.

My Wife Sarah

I assisted my wife (Sarah Yee) as the Head Coach of El Toro High School girl’s soccer program from 2005-2009.  I attribute much of our teams success to the CrossFit training methods we introduced to the program.  This experience with training youth laid the foundation for our current youth development program.  We strive to develop our athletes physically but most important mentally.  We believe that all of our athletes should learn to be leaders.   We give them opportunities to lead and teach.  Our approach is a multi-year development plan.  We are fortunate to currently work with over 200 teen aged athletes and another 100 plus pre-teen athletes. Some are high level performers in their chosen sport but they are all developing kids.  Regardless of the sport they need the same basic foundation physically and emotionally and we pride ourselves in delivering such safe and effective a program.

My wife and I have been married for 16 years. Yes, we got married young.  We were still in college.  She is actually the athletic one. It is much more fun to write about her so I’ll take a few minutes to do so since she is my better half. She was a multi sport Division I collegiate athlete in soccer and track. She was a four year starter for the soccer program that was consistently ranked in the top 25. She placed 10th at the NCAA track and Field Championships as a freshman. She gave up pole vault after two years to focus on soccer, where she was a part of four conference championships and 4 appearances in the NCAA playoff tournament. She has a lot of rings. In high school she was a four sport varsity athlete playing both soccer and basketball in the same season her junior year. She won two CIF Championships in soccer at Mission Viejo High School and was the County record holder in Pole Vault for a number of years.  Of all this she is the most amazing mother of our 5 children.

Teams we currently train: MVHS Cross Country and Track Endurance, MV Nadadores Dive Program, Tesoro HS Cross Country and Track Endurance,  Grass Roots youth Track team, United FC 2002, West Coast FC Girls and Boys Developmental Academy teams and 8 other soccer teams from WCFC.

If you made it all the way through this bio I hope that you will come in and experience what our Mission CrossFit family has to offer. Simply, we have a family environment that celebrates diversity and encourages all who want to be their best and make those around them better in a loving supporting environment.  That was a run on sentence.  I hope my high school English teachers don’t read this. But really, we love nice people that love to work hard and aren’t afraid of being uncomfortable.  If you are afraid but you are a nice person, come in anyway ,and we will teach you to be fearless.

You can email Justin at

Our Coaches

Patrick is a Level 1 CrossFit Certified Instructor. He has been involved in CrossFit since 2007. He loves health and fitness and has been active in the industry since finishing high school.

Patrick is a nationally registered emergency technician (EMT-B) and has worked as such in both an ambulance and in Mission Hospital’s Trauma Center. Patrick is a Pharmacy Technician (CPhTs).

He has also spent time as a rock climbing instructor, a wrestling coach, and a personal trainer. Patrick loves seeing people reach their goals and strongly believes in CrossFit’s methodology.

You can email Patrick at

Jeff has a B.S. in Kinesiology from CSUF with an emphasis on Fitness and Health Promotion. He is a Certified Level 1 Crossfit Instructor as well as a Certified Crossfit Gymnastics Instructor. Before coming to Mission Crossfit, Jeff worked as a Physical Therapy Assistant and directed fitness rehabilitation programs. He has been an athlete from an early age, engaging at competitive levels for most sports throughout his life, excelling at soccer, tennis, and hockey. Jeff has a lifetime of athletic knowledge and over 7 years of coaching/training experience. Helping people shatter their beliefs of what they thought was impossible is what Jeff asserts himself to do. You can email Jeff at