He called his mom, Vicki, early in the morning of the first day of track trials. "Mom, I forgot my inhaler." Vicki could tell from his gravely voice he needed it bad.
"I'll get you one," she said. She's a physician, so getting a prescription wasn't a problem.
Soon, we were at his hotel. All the athletes from George Mason University were sequestered at the Residence Inn and David was waiting at the door for us. He was wheezing from asthma and not doing well at all. The inhaler helped immediately, but as we stood in his room chatting, we discovered that asthma wasn't his only problem.
"I have a stress fracture in a bone in my right foot," he said, too casually for the circumstance to my way of thinking. A runner competing with an asthma attack and a broken bone in his foot? Come on!
Vicki and I gave him hugs and left.
She explained to me that injuries are common with athletes, particularly in the days leading up to a big competition. "They push themselves so hard," she explained. "Their bodies sometimes just give out."
That afternoon, David ran against 32 of the fastest young men in America, some still in school, some already representing athletic shoe companies. Two of the runners were actually former gold medal Olympians.
David qualified to run again the next day.
Next day, same story.
Third and last day, he came in 7th. Not fast enough to make the London 400 meter team, but fast enough to win everyone's respect. He was disappointed, naturally, but accepted his "defeat" gracefully.
We'll find out Tuesday whether he made the relay team. It's possible he will still be competing.
In four years, he will be older and stronger, approaching the peak age for track. Rio de Janeiro, look out! Here he comes!