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Kingston high school student to attempt 2.8-mile swin in Puget Sound
INDIANOLA Kingston resident and Bainbridge High School senior Lawrence Trueb has always wanted to swim from Indianola to Bainbridge Island.
Hes lived in Kingston for the past 15 years and spent his childhood days playing on the beach, which sparked his interest in paddling the waters.
I always thought it would be cool to swim over there, he said standing on the Indianola dock, pointing to Bainbridge on Wednesday afternoon.
Today at 11:30 a.m. Trueb is taking the plunge hes been dreaming of since he was a boy.
But the swim is more than a personal accomplishment for Trueb, its loaded with a graduation requirement and help for a dear friend.
Trueb will navigate the waters which hover about the 40-degree mark and travel the approximately 2.8 nautical miles from Indianola to Fay Bainbridge State Park to fulfill his senior project obligation and to raise money and awareness for the brittle bone disease, osteogenesis imperfecta.
His close friend since the ninth grade, whose name he requested be withheld, has OI and is confined to a wheelchair. When Trueb met the young man four years ago he said it took him a while to build up the courage to ask him about his situation. And once he learned about OI, Trueb was troubled and inspired, as theres no cure for the disease.
Swimming the passage is his way to help.
It was just awful to learn that people could be confined to a wheelchair and never walk for something that was out of their control. Youre born into it, Trueb said. I had an idea to swim and it didnt take me very long to decide to swim for what after I learned about my friend.
Its no easy feat to swim nearly three miles in the frigid waters of the Puget Sound. Trueb began training in November.
First on the list was nixing soda, candy, evening bowls of ice cream and sugary cereals for breakfast from his diet. Next he implemented a workout regimen jogging, basketball and evening pushup and situp sessions.
I felt really, really good and could tell I was getting in better shape, he said, but I definitely wanted to be swimming more.
In February he joined the Bainbridge Aquatic Masters, which is a group of competitive and pleasure swimmers who meet Monday through Thursday mornings.
Hes excused from first period to swim laps from 9-10 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and within the last month he began open-water swimming twice a week.
Two weeks ago he finished his first long distance, open-water journey, as he swam the approximately 1.8 miles from Indianola to Port Madison.
I was exhausted, but my muscles werent sore and I wasnt fatigued, said Trueb who was clad in a wetsuit Wednesday, as he was on his way to an open-water swim. I feel like Ive been over training. I feel like I was ready for this swim months ago.
As for the water temperature, Trueb wears a wetsuit and said after 20 minutes the capillaries in his face and hands close up and stop working, bringing numbing relief.
He said he knows hell finish hopefully in less than three hours but of course he has a few reservations about spending more than 120 minutes in open salt water.
In the pool he can see the bottom, but in the Sound he cant.
Youre exposed, he said. I know the seals can get pretty big around here. Last week a seal was following me when I swam.
But raising money for a good cause and helping a friend trumps any stuff in the water fears.
Truebs monetary goal is to raise $250. On Wednesday hed accumulated $200, but said more people have committed. Hell donate all the proceeds to the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation.
And today hes jazzed to hit the waters. Hes been stocking up on carbohydrates all week, and getting in extra hours of stretching and pillow time. Hes undecided whether hell dive off the dock or walk in. Regardless hes ready.
Its been on my mind for so long its going to be nice to have it over with, but Im not necessarily excited to have it over with, he said. It will be a lot of fun and Ill enjoy it.