Eyes closed, the man stood soaking in the steaming heat. The ache in his body was being excised one limb at a time. Directing the showerhead with his hand back and forth, his other hand lay steady against the wall. His lean and leaning body slowly relaxing under the water, he felt his muscles slowly growing less tense.

His breath was laboured, lungs still attempting to catch him up from his exercise. The heavy inhale and exhale swelled his chest, his thoughts absent besides focusing on that breath and his pain. Each full breath seemed to push his lungs against his ribs. Rubbing together and pressing against his internal bruises. Caught between pain and air, he winced but steadied himself against the wall.

His running mix still playing loudly outside the curtain, he began stretching. Rising to his full height, then bringing his fingertips to the ceramic basin, he felt the tendons and muscles grow taunt. He stood, bent and aching, in the shower while the water rushed down his back and through his hair. Raising his head to shake away the water attempting to run up his nose, he let loose a pleased groan and stood up.

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