It’s been a while again, but I want to encourage anyone else who has the chance to go bog-jumping. Just once.
For the most part, as of a couple weeks in, I had adjusted pretty smoothly to life here. If anything was particularly difficult, it’s being isolated as a trans person. I mostly haven’t noticed it because people have been friendly anyway; but a few moments will keep standing out and sometimes cast a shadow on how I interact with people after. I don’t always notice it at first. (Note: this has improved over time, or I’ve stopped caring about it so much.)
The organized trip to Causey Farm was mostly a lot of fun. Bog-jumping was a lot more intense than I had expected.
The air was cold and damp, and the ride to the bog was in the back of an old canvas-covered truck. I sat near the back, the straw bale I sat on scratching my legs while I watched the muddy road fall away behind us.
I had pictured some sort of ledge to leap off of into the bog. Instead, our guide - a smiling woman with glasses long gray hair and a wide straw hat - had us line up for a race at the edge of a field of mud, ending in a small hill. I wondered if the bog was over the hill. She insisted we take a knee like sprinters at the starting block; my knee went into the ground a few inches. The first to reach that rise at the end won. Suspense built [don’t /say/ that] until finally she called out and we started running. Only started; we couldn’t run for long. People fell away out my vision as I stopped moving, and looked down to see bog up to my knees. I struggled out and took a few more steps, trying to catch the two guys still in sight in front, and fell deeper. Soon we were all crawling, spreading out our weight as much as possible, and still sinking.
At the end, we stood on that ledge I had seen, after dragging ourselves onto it, and had the option to jump back in. I did and landed wrong, almost feet-first, and it was a complex effort to roll and climb my way back onto dry-ish land.
I stood outside shivering for a bit longer than I thought I would though. I couldn’t get my bag before the girls went into the room set aside for changing, and the girl who answered the door wouldn’t hand it to me. (Much less let me in to get it). I wouldn’t have been able to change with the couple of guys on the trip either, so a staff person on the trip went in and got my bag for me after the tour guide noticed me standing there soaked and freezing. The tour guide found me another room to change in. I forget, sometimes, how people who won’t see me as nonbinary or use my chosen pronouns still won’t really see me as a girl either. Thankfully other people here are a lot less concerned about what I am.