NASHVILLE, Tenn. — His job is project planning for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District. At home, he plans his sleep routine, healthy diet, and exercise regimen around improving his work and athletic stamina, endurance and patience.
David Bishop’s efforts in the gym and promoting a healthy lifestyle the past several years are definitely paying off. He was the employee of the month in July 2010 and just returned from representing the United States in the Olympic Distance Triathlon at the International Triathlon Union World Championship Grand Final in Beijing.
With an official time of 2:28:08, he finished 20th out of 75 athletes that competed Sept. 11 in the 50-54 age group. The race combined distance swimming, cycling and running in the Changping District.
“The event was special to me for a few reasons,” Bishop said. “I had to qualify to participate. I was able to wear a Team USA uniform and represent my country. I was also able to visit China and participate in the opening ceremony and parade. Meeting other team members and athletes from other countries was all unique for me.”
The event venue was the same as the 2008 Olympics and Bishop said he really enjoyed running along the crest of the dam at Shisanling Reservoir. Along that route he said people were calling out his name and encouraging him to keep going. “It was a very positive and memorable experience,” he recalled.
Bishop noted that he really appreciates support from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the encouragement that he receives from coworkers and teammates in Nashville.
Lt. Col. James A. DeLapp, Nashville District commander, said he was pleased to hear about Bishop’s participation on Team USA.
“He’s a positive representative for America and role model for all of us in the Nashville District,” DeLapp said. “I’m very proud of him and his willingness to achieve greatness not only for himself, but for his country.”
Bishop said he trained every day after work and on weekends leading up to the competition. He said he spent a lot of time cycling on Natchez Trace, swimming at the YMCA, and running in Centennial Park, Percy Warner Park and other routes in Davidson County.
“I think an active lifestyle is beneficial in more ways than I can list and research seems to validate and add to the list of benefits from routine exercise,” Bishop explained. “I feel better today than when I was 30 years old, and I know I’m in much better physical condition. So, competing gives me a goal to plan for and motivates me to train and eat such that I’m prepared for race day, and more importantly… every day I have an active and healthy lifestyle.”
Tim Higgs, acting chief of the Project Planning Branch at the Nashville District, said Bishop’s work ethic is displayed by his ability to qualify for this triathlon.
“I know a lot of time and hard work led up to his qualifying for it. His personal drive is on display for competing in the event and it is also demonstrated in his efforts for the Corps’ Project Planning Branch,” Higgs said. “He shows focus and foresight in scheduling and executing his projects.”
Higgs said he is proud of Bishop and admires him for representing the nation. “It shows his intensity to perform well on tasks he sets his mind to and I’m sure he represented all of us in a positive manner.”
Bishop said he was able to visit the Great Wall of China during his visit, and he had other memorable moments he will cherish a lifetime. But overall, he’s proud he competed and demonstrated good sportsmanship.
“Within my age group my goal was to finish in the top 50 percent. I was able to achieve my goal and my overall performance was strong,” he said. “The competition was a complete success.”