Hi - Great tufts of hair yanked out of my head... I'm struggling to find a phrase to replace this clumsy one, which I've underlined. Any ideas? (Backstory - the character is back in the saddle again, after recovering from serious injury. Up to now he has experienced restricted movement and painful stiffness due to an extensive belly wound.) After a few days of making these undemanding trips upriver and back again, Joe’s colour had returned to normal, along with more ease in his body’s movements. Jessie’s anxiety about his self-imposed regime began to evaporate. Lee and Rob would not allow him to overdo anything, and she knew Joe was right. He needed to get his strength back and return to work.