Parade helps inspire bandsman to get in shape

Cole Watkins

Cole Watkins

Cole Watkins, a senior psychology major from Charlotte who plays mellophone in the band, lost 65 pounds after he began a daily routine of running to prepare to march in the 5-and-a-half mile Rose Parade.

“In the parade, endurance is a big factor. I figured I would build up stamina by running,” said Watkins. “ Watkins started off running on a treadmill and then on an indoor track at WCU’s Campus Recreation Center. “I slowly built up and now run a 7-minute mile.”

Today, he runs three or four times a week in addition to band rehearsal and discovered a newfound love for rock climbing, which he practices at WCU’s 50-foot tall indoor climbing wall – the tallest collegiate indoor climbing wall in North Carolina. “My goal is to get to 200 pounds, so I only have 20 more pounds to go.”