Saun 1 Arc 718
It was a beautiful morning when Hanabi arrived at the foot of her workout area for the day. There were plenty of like-minded individuals in the vicinity of the park that the small woman had decided to visit. The pink haired woman was still getting used to living in Rharne and it was a pretty big culture shock to come to a city after a whole childhood of wandering. She hoped her experiences so far would help her keep her unique identity and not become another worker drone like the rest. These experiences had also instilled a competitive nature in her which made her naturally gravitate towards differentiating herself from the crowd.
Today, Hanabi would be aiming to get a feel of her own physical abilities. The reason for this was that she had never really tested herself or pushed her limits. She had simply just gone with the flow and gotten into figurative pissing matches. Hanabi had been motivated to take a day to test herself because she had overheard a man bragging about how fast he could run in a race. It seemed like a stupid thing to advertise at the time, but other people seemed to be genuinely impressed. Hanabi had advertised that nobody cared about how fast the man could run, and had been asked how fast she herself could run. Of course, she had no good answer and looked the fool. After today, she would be able to give a good answer. ”At least after today I will know where I stand!”
Hanabi stood tall, or rather as tall as she could at a measly five feet. She had a confident look on her face, as if she was going to show the entire world that she was the fastest gal around. She stared out at the park before her and started to sprint as fast as she could. She pushed her body to go as fast than it ever had gone before, egging her legs to go faster. She didn’t even make it half a lap around the park before she called it quits. She would lie on the ground, baking in the heat and gasping for breath as nothing but hot air came to her aid. Good grief. How do any of these people find the motivation to work out in this heat?”
There had to be some secret that she wasn’t quite grasping. She wasn’t tired in the slightest, but she was having a lot of difficulty breathing. Her lungs burned something fierce and she wasn’t quite sure what she could do to stop it. ”Maybe I could try changing my speed by how fast my heart is beating. My heart beat seems to decide how fast I take breaths so maybe that is what I should gauge by.” It was a nice thought, but Hanabi wasn’t quite sure how to go about applying this idea.
The pink haired woman would take off again, but much more slowly. She felt her hear rate increase as soon as she started running so she slowed down. As she slowed, her heartrate slowed. ”Hmm, it looks like I had it the other way around. My heart rate adjusts to my activity not the other way around.” It was true, but Hanabi still felt there was merit to finding the heart rate that she wouldn’t immediately tire out to. Having no way of keeping time on hand, the woman would simply adjust her speed until she got a feel of how fast her heart should beat to feel comfortable. Now she would know when she was getting in the danger zone of falling down out of exhaustion.
Hanabi had gotten down gauging her heart rate, but she still needed to find a better way to pace her running speed. There was a lot to be said about how the people around her were exercising. These people seemed to always seem so steady and calm no matter what they were doing, unless they were clearly trying to exert themselves. Hanabi would watch one man as he ran past her. He had been running since she showed up, steadily and at the same pace. She watched his chest rise and fall after he passed and noticed that it was very steady; it was much unlike her own jagged breathing.
Hanabi would try once more to run, but this time she was going to keep her breathing to match the man’s. When she saw his chest rise, she would inhale. When it fell, she would exhale. This little experiment did not last long, however, as her cardio abilities were nowhere near his levels. What she could do, was take faster breaths. Moving at a steady speed meant that she could slowly but surely ease her breaths into a simple rhythm that made it so she hardly had to focus on anything at all. So long as she maintained her speed her breaths could stay steady.
Hanabi still couldn’t make it a full lap around the park, but she had long since given up on that goal for the day. A drink of water was all she needed to revitalize herself and think of a new way to pace herself. ”I wonder if I can breathe based on how many steps I’ve taken since the last breath.” It was an idea that she thought was worth pursuing, but how many steps would she take? Hanabi started to jog again at her established comfort pace and simply let her breathing fall into a consistent rhythm. Then, she would count her steps in between breaths.
”Two steps? That’s it?” Hanabi would ask her self in surprise. Looking around, she soon spotted the endlessly jogging man and saw that he was only taking a breath every four or five steps. ”Maybe it gets easier once I get better at running. I guess I will aim for three steps and see how that goes.” And so Hanabi would take her breaths in steps of three to see the difference it made. She felt that her lungs were working hard to provide her body with the demanded oxygen. At the same time she felt like weight was taken off her chest in terms of forcing breaths out. She was going to have to test this again once she got into better shape.
Hanabi wasn’t sure what else she could do to improve her running, so she decided to branch out from the park and just jog until she couldn’t jog anymore. Unlike sprinting, she had quite a good grasp at jogging and could keep it up for quite some time. One thing that she didn’t like was how the surface beneath her feet kept changing. She would go from pounding her feet on soft grass to pounding her feet on hard rocks. It didn’t feel right and she felt as though she had to adjust her entire running mentality every time she switched from one surface to another.
The pink haired woman would adjust her speed on different surfaces, but that didn’t seem to do much of anything. All changing speed did was make her hurt her feet faster or slower. ”What I need to do is press my feet softer on hard surfaces, she would think as lightly stepped onto a dirt pathway. ”And when I switch to grass, I should press harder since the surface can take more punishment. That and it won’t hurt my feet!” Hanabi swiftly jumped to lengthy patch of grass and more or less slammed her feet into the ground with every step. It was far from perfect, but it was certainly a start.
Hanabi would make a loop, intending to head back to the park where she started. It was getting very cumbersome to lift her legs let alone keep jogging. Her fatigue was finally starting to catch up to her and she was drawing awkward looks from people who were wondering why she was running in this kind of place. Something was telling Hanabi that she should have just stayed in the park just so she wouldn’t be partially limping throughout populated areas of Rharne. ”Maybe I should start paying attention to how I act from now on. It’s not like I’m on the road again. I might actually see these people again!”
At long last, it was time for the small woman to head back home. She had gotten a little better at adjusting her speed based on the surface she was on. On top of that, she had finally figured out how to pace herself so that she could one day measure her own speed. The only thing she had lost today was a ton of body water and her will to visit this park anytime in the near future. ”It’s a nice park and all, but how many times do I have to run around this thing before I get bored out of my mind?” Hanabi would think as she hopped into her bath and final washed the sweat off her body.
Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.
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