Emily Breeze Ross Watson has one goal – to make Charlotte the fittest city in the U.S. She’s already made attempts to break Guinness World records with her popular, weekly fitness boot camp. She is also challenging the expectations that people have for active, expectant mothers and other women working on their postnatal fitness.
When she’s not working with high-profile clients or competing in the Crossfit games, she inspires others by posting workouts and connecting with followers on Instagram. We spoke with her to find out she loves about the Queen City and her favorite go-to spots.
Tell us about yourself. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a personal trainer, fitness educator and social media influencer known for fun and innovative ways to get people moving. I also love to work out with my 6-month-old son, Bly. I love breaking down the stereotypes that surround prenatal and postnatal fitness with Bly by my side.
My parents always encouraged me to go after whatever I wanted. I played sports throughout college and graduated from Winthrop University with a teaching degree. I quickly transitioned into a health and fitness career, and now I get to use my teaching background to encourage others to live a healthy lifestyle.
What’s your favorite Charlotte meal?
This is my favorite question; I love food! It’s funny; as a trainer, people assume I eat chicken, rice and broccoli for dinner with supplements for dessert. This is far from the truth. One of my favorite things to do with my husband is explore new restaurants and eat good food.
For cocktails, we love Bob Peters at The Punch Room at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. He creates personalized cocktails depending on your preferences. As far as main meals go, Kindred Restaurant is our go-to date night spot. They offer unique pairings, and the food is incredible. Desserts are my weakness, so I have lots of favorites! I love cookies from Sunflour Baking Co., doughnuts from Your Mom’s Donuts (they now have a cart in Uptown!) and salted caramel blondies from Earl’s Grocery. Good Food on Montford, Customshop, Foxcroft Wine Co. and Soul Gastrolounge are more places that never get old!
If you only had 10 words, how would you define Charlotte?
Young, vibrant and growing. We’re creating and shaping our city!
Describe your perfect day in the city. What would you do, see and experience?
I would get outdoors and run on the greenway with Bly in the stroller, meet up with friends for brunch at 7th Street Public Market and then hang out at one of our parks Uptown. I love being outdoors, and Bly and I would take advantage of the great Charlotte weather as much as possible! In the afternoon, I’d grab drinks at a brewery with friends and then watch fireworks cascade over our skyline during a Charlotte Knights baseball game.
Why is Charlotte “home” for you?
If you had asked me 15 years ago, I would’ve told you that I’d be living in Atlanta, D.C., or New York after college. But in 2006, I moved to Charlotte and have lived here ever since. I met my husband, Montell, here and found great community support for small businesses like my own. I’ve watched Charlotte grow right in front of my eyes, and I just love that each day something new is being built or created! One of my future goals is to make Charlotte the fittest city in the country, and I know the community I’ve found here rallies around that challenge with me!
What is your favorite Queen City memory?
Last year, we attempted several records from “Guinness World Records” at the STAX Bootcamp that I co-lead with Randy Moss. We reached two of them: the most people doing pushups in one setting and the most people doing situps in one setting. I’m so grateful to be able to work with STAX and Randy Moss toward putting Charlotte on the map as the fittest city.
What’s your favorite place to go on the weekend in Charlotte?
On the weekends, you can find me, my husband and Bly taking walks Uptown and maybe stopping at Coco and the Director to fuel up along the way. We also love to shop the farmers markets to get local, organic groceries. Crowders Mountain [State Park] is a fun weekend day trip a little outside of Charlotte, and I love spending quality time hiking there with my two dogs and Bly.
What’s your favorite outdoor activity in the city?
STAX Bootcamp!!! We have hundreds of people that come out every Monday and Wednesday night to get fit (for free!) There are so many different ages, athletic levels, races and just people from all walks of life; I love seeing how we all come together like family into one fit community. We work hard and challenge each other, and it’s a great way to give back to the community!
What’s your favorite Charlotte professional sports team in Charlotte?
I have clients that play for the Panthers and the Hornets, so I root for them both. Honestly, I want all of our teams to be successful! I feel like the Charlotte community unites when we are winning, and we just become a happier, friendlier city!
What’s your favorite neighborhood in Charlotte and why?
Dilworth. I’ve been in love with this neighborhood from the time I moved to Charlotte. I would run the tree-lined streets and always pictured myself living in one of the bungalow homes. I love that you can walk down the sidewalk and see kids playing in the street, and then you can look up and see skyscrapers. I like the blend of the neighborhood vibe and the big city.
What’s your favorite place to take family & friends when they visit Charlotte?
We like to stay active (haha, sensing a theme yet?), so we will ride bikes to different neighborhoods and pop into small, local shops and breweries along our rides. We love how the greenways are conveniently located in the city but make you feel a world away from the hectic traffic.
BONUS: The cutest workout buddy you’ll ever see – Baby Breeze
❤️👶🏽|| Sunday babe sesh || try this leg burner 💥🔥⬇️ • 6 Rounds • 1 minute weighted wall sit ( notice form here- you need to be sitting parallel to the floor- shoulders back and muscles engaged) • 10 step ups on each leg ( if you like wearing your babe this is so much fun! Make sure you are confident and comfortable with the height of the box) • • Don't forget to subscribe to my website ➡️ Stroll Fit online programs are launching before the holidays!! Link in bio! ⬆️❤️ • #fitness #healthy #gym #motivation #workout #fit #Fitfam #health #eatclean #fitspo #clt #cltfitness #charlotte #earnyourbody #goaldigger #healthiswealth #breezyfit #dowhatyoulove #noexcuses #704 #workout #bootcamp #fitmom #momfit #postpartumfitness #lookgoodfeelgood
Featured in Charlotte Happenings March 2017 issue. Updates by Brigitte Acosta.