Beathachadh | Nourish

By Maureen NicLeòid

Ann an 2012, ghabh mi ri dùbhlan bho charaid maraton New York a dhèanamh ann an 2015.    


Airson dà bhliadhna gu leth chuir mi gu cùl m’ inntinn e, a' dèanamh beagan ruith an-dràsta ’s a-rithist, mi uaireannan cinnteach gun tachradh e, uaireannan eile den bheachd gun robh “Einnsean, Tractar agus Bhan” nas dualtaiche faighinn gu àireamh a h-aon sna clàran-ciùil!       


Deich mìosan ron àm, ghluais cùisean air adhart. Ma bha aon rud na bu mhiosa na bhith smaoineachadh air maraton a dhèanamh, ’s e a bhith smaoineachadh nach robh comas agam maraton a dhèanamh. Lìon mi a-steach a’ bhileag oifigeil a’ dearbhadh mo rùin. Bha mo charaid Anne a’ dol ga dhèanamh cuideachd. 


Shir mi an fheadhainn a bh' air an lèine-t fhaighinn, air bonn a choisinn dhaib’ fhèin às dèidh sia thar fhichead puing a dhà mìle a chur air an cùlaibh.


Fhuair mi comhairle agus fios a thaobh trèanadh, molaidhean air dè bu chòir agus dè nach bu chòir dhomh ithe fhad ’s a bha mi a’ trèanadh agus ron rèis. Chuala mi cho cudromach ’s a bha "carb-loading". Bhitheadh a’ phàirt seo furasta gu leòr agus mi air a bhith ag ullachadh airson sin fad mo bheatha! Chaidh innse dhomh mu aodach, mu bhrògan, mu cò ris a bhitheadh an latha fhèin coltach agus dè bu chòir dhut a dhèanamh nuair a nochdadh am balla a thig tric an cois maraton.    


Ghreimich mi air aon rud a chuala mi, mar sholas san dorchadas. Bhruidhinn iad mun bhiadh a dh’ith iad às dèidh crìoch a chur air an rèis – cead aca rud sam bith ithe às dèidh uairean a thìde de dh’fhallas agus gluasad. Dh’inns iad mar a bha a’ bhodhaig a’ sgreuchail airson bìdh agus cho math ’s a bha blas a’ bhìdh sin às dèidh mìosan de shaothair fhaighinn gu latha a’ mharatoin.    


Dh’fhàs am biadh a bha mise a’ dol a ghabhail air an oidhche sin gu ìrean fantasach nam inntinn, a’ comharrachadh, soirbheachas ann neo às, an rèis a bhith seachad ach toiseach farpais eile far a robh mise a’ dol a dh’ithe barrachd na dh’ith duine eile a-riamh air talamh tròcair, gun chiont sam bith.     


Bha fadachd orm gus an tigeadh a’ chiad latha den t-Samhain 2015 ach aig an aon àm cha robh mi ag iarraidh gun tigeadh e gu bràth. Cha robh diofar dè bha mise ag iarraidh - thàinig e na àm fhèin. Anns an grunn uairean a thìde a thug e crìoch a chur air an rèis, ’s iomadh faireachdainn a thàinig ’s a dh’fhalbh – boil-aighir, eagal, àbhachdas, tlachd, pian, àmhghar, mì-chinnt, cruaidh-bharail agus toileachas. Rinn mi mo shlighe air ais chun flat far a robh sinn a’ fuireach, air èiginn agus gu slaodach, e eu-comasach dhomh a’ ghàire mhòr a chumail far m’ aodann a dh’aindheoin cho glaoiceil ’s a bha mo choltas.    


Bha ochdnar againn air an turas a dhèanamh gu New York: mi fhìn agus Anne air an rèis a dhèanamh agus an sianar eile gar brosnachadh bho diofar phàirtean den bhaile. Bha mi fhìn agus Anne eadar a bhith àrd-aoibhneach agus ann an tuaineal, buaidh sgìths, faochadh, toileachas agus pian a’ measgachadh ri chèile. Chaidh fèist òrdachadh, cuid a’ gabhail biadh Sìonach, cuid eile biadh Thai. 


Ghabh mise spring rolls agus rus frighigte le cearc.  Biadh cho sìmplidh ach an oidhch’ ud, cha bhitheadh blas cho math air a bhith air eisirean agus cabhiar anns na taighean-bìdh as spaideile san t-saoghal.  Bha e mar gun robh mi a’ blasad air biadh airson a’ chiad turas.  Na spring rolls air an ithe agus a’ gluasad air adhart chun rus agus a’ chearc, bheachdaich mi am bitheadh e gu bràth tuilleadh comasach uimhir de thoileachas fhaighinn bho rud ithe. 


Chomharraich gach làn-bheòil an iomadh mìle de thrèanadh a rinn mi, an ullachadh agus an uallach a thàinig an cois fhaighinn gu na h-ìre-sa, agus am pròis ri linn fhaighinn tarsainn an loidhne-crìochnachaidh. Cò shaoileadh gum b’ urrainn dha uimhir de dh’fhaireachdainn tighinn an cois biadh cho iriosal? 


Thug gach làn-bheòil an lùths air ais thugam. Chaidh am biadh a-steach agus thaom sgeulachdan, beachdan agus faireachdainnean an latha a-mach.  Rinn an t-ochdnar againn an aon rud eadar gach làn-bheòil,  a h-uile duine ag innse sgeòil an latha bhon t-sealladh aca fhèin.  Agus an cois a’ bhìdh, bha an càirdeas, a’ ghàireachdainn agus an comann a thig le cruinneachadh de charaidean.   


Thachair aon rud ris nach robh mi an dùil, rud nach tug duine rabhadh dhomh mu dheidhinn.  Bha goirteas mì-nàdarrach nam amhaich air sgàth na h-oidhirp a bhith a’ gabhail anail fhad ’s a bha mi a’ ruith sa bhaile mhòr.  Cha tug mi cus aire dha an toiseach nuair a thòisich mi ag ithe agus mi a’ faireachdainn do-cheannsachail, ach mar bu mhotha a dh’ith mi, b’ ann a dh’èirich am faireachdainn gun robh ràsairean air an dachaigh a dhèanamh nam amhaich agus gu robh am biadh a’ sabaid agus a’ strì gus a shlighe a dhèanamh seachad.  Ach, gu fortanach, bha mi sàsaichte mus do ghèill mi ris a’ phian.   


Thòisich rudeigin an oidhche sin ge-tà ’s mi a’ comharrachadh crìoch a chur air a’ mharaton.  Bliadhna gu leth às dèidh a dhèanamh, tha mi fhathast a’ leigeil dhomh fhìn a bhith ag ithe mar nach eil ach uair a thìde neo dhà bho rinn mi an rèis, gun chiont neo smachd sam bith.  Ach, tha mi an dòchas gun stad sin a dh’aithghearr!  


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Nourish


In 2012, I accepted a challenge from a friend to do the New York Marathon in 2015.


For two and a half years, I put it to the back of my mind, doing a bit of running here and there, sure at times that it would happen and at other times thinking that there was more likelihood of “Einnsean, Tractar agus Bhan” reaching number one in the music charts!


Ten months before the day, things started to move forward. If there was one thing worse than thinking about doing a marathon, it was thinking that I wouldn’t be able to do a marathon. I filled in the official form confirming my intentions. My friend Anne was going to do it as well.


I tracked down those who had got the t-shirt, who had won themselves a medal after putting 26.2 miles behind them.


I got advice and information about training, recommendations on what I should and shouldn’t eat while training and before the race. I heard how important “carb-loading” was. That part would be easy enough as I’d been preparing for that my whole life! I was told about clothes, about shoes, about what the day itself would be like and what you should do when you hit the wall, which happens often during a marathon.


I held on to one thing I heard like a light in the darkness. They spoke about the food they ate after finishing the race – finally allowed to eat anything they wanted after hours of sweating and physical exertion. They described how the body was screaming out for food and how good that food tasted after the months of hard work leading up to the day of the marathon.


The food I was going to eat on that evening grew to fantastic levels in my mind, marking – successful or not – the end of the race, but also the beginning of another competition where I was going to eat more than anyone else on this hallowed ground, without any guilt whatsoever.


I couldn’t wait until the first day of November 2015 and yet, at the same time, I never wanted it to come. It didn’t matter what I wanted – it arrived in its own time. In the several hours it took to finish the race, many different feelings came and went – excitement, fear, humour, delight, pain, anguish, uncertainty, determination and happiness. I made my way back to the flat where we were staying, slowly and with difficulty, finding it impossible to keep a wide grin off my face despite how foolish I looked.


Eight of us had made the trip to New York; myself and Anne to do the race and the six others to cheer us on in different parts of the city. Anne and I fluctuated between ecstasy and exhaustion, the effects of the tiredness, relief, happiness and pain all mixing together. A feast was ordered, some having Chinese food and others having Thai food.


I had spring rolls and chicken fried rice. The simplest of foods, but that night, oysters and caviar in the fanciest restaurants in the world wouldn’t have tasted better. It was as if I was tasting food for the first time. As I polished off the spring rolls and moved on to the rice and chicken, I wondered if it would ever be possible again to get so much happiness from eating something.


Each mouthful marked the many miles of training I had done, the preparation and the difficulties involved in getting to this level and the pride which came from crossing the finishing line. Who would have thought that such feelings could come from such humble food?


Each mouthful brought my strength back to me. The food went in and stories, thoughts and emotions from the day poured out. The eight of us did the same thing between each mouthful, everyone telling their own version of the day’s stories. And accompanying the food was the friendship, laughter and companionship which comes with a gathering of pals.


One thing happened which I hadn’t expected, something which nobody had warned me about. I had an unnatural pain in my throat due to the effort of breathing while running in the city. I didn’t take much notice of it at first when I started eating, I was feeling so invincible, but the more I ate, the more the sensation of razors at the back of my throat grew, as if they had made a home there and the food had to fight and struggle to make its way past them. But, luckily, my appetite was satisfied before I yielded to the pain.


Something started that night though as I celebrated finishing the marathon. A year and a half after doing it, I still allow myself to eat as if only an hour or two had gone past since I finished the race, without any guilt or control. But hopefully that will stop soon!


Keywords: 
gaelic, running, Nourish Author Story