This past fall, I transferred to the University I currently attend, arriving excited but extremely nervous. While trying to play catch up with my academics and social life, I always resorted to exercising as my way of relieving stress. But a sudden injury would put that method to a temporary stop this past semester.

During the first week of the fall semester, I was running at the gym and when I got off the treadmill, I could barely walk. I knew something was up, but I continued to ignore it for a week. When I walked to class, my right leg was constantly limping. It was progressively getting worse and after multiple people convinced me it wasn't going to go away on its own, I decided to see a doctor.

I reached out to my school's athletic trainer and we concluded that I had probably strained my hip flexor. She then proceeded to tell me that my usual routine of running and other forms of exercise had to be put on hold for a few weeks. I was extremely disappointed and frustrated, how was I supposed to do anything if I could barely move my hip?

What I thought was going to be a few weeks turned into over two months. I now have such a huge amount of respect for people who are injured in college. I'm lucky that my campus isn't too big, but still having to walk everywhere didn't help with the healing process at all.

It was an unusual and weird injury since it wasn't visible. I was constantly frustrated and restless. I didn't want to accept the fact that I couldn't exercise, so I kept convincing myself every few days that I was getting better, when what I really needed was rest.

During my recovery, I had to attend physical therapy sessions twice a week for about two months. Driving there every few days, I was pretty annoyed that I had to take the time out of my day to do this. My therapist could tell I was a little impatient and eager to recover, but he kept warning me not to push it when completing my rehab.

The more I wasn't able to go to the gym, the more I began to feel extremely restless and constantly worried that I would gain weight if I didn't exercise. I was always thinking about how much food I was eating and how it could affect me if I didn't get to exercise.

I started realizing that I had always relied on the fact that if I ate a lot one day I would exercise and it would somehow even itself out. I knew this wasn't how it worked, but it was comforting to know that I could always go on a run or take a class if I felt sluggish or needed to take my mind off something.  

It wasn't until around Thanksgiving that I felt fully healed and was able to do most of the things I loved when it came to exercise. Around the same time, I fell upon a story written by one of my favorite health bloggers, Lee Tilghman. She wrote an article discussing whether or not she was addicted to exercising and how she came to this discovery.

She noticed that her lifestyle was pretty active and intense after one of her readers pointed out that she only takes one rest day per week. Lea realized that she always scheduled something in for exercise even while traveling. When she was asked to step out of a cycle class on vacation, she realized how dependent she was on her workout schedule. This moment forced her to pause in order to reflect on how much exercise meant to her.

Her thoughts really changed my perspective towards my active lifestyle. I definitely depend on it a little too much, but I'm beginning to realize it all comes down to finding a balance. To me, this means everything in moderation. So, no I didn't gain a million pounds overnight from not working out, but I definitely need to find other ways to relieve stress than just exercising.

I personally try to eat healthy during most days of the week because I enjoy most of the foods I choose to eat. But I won't beat myself up if I don't on the weekends or if I take a day or two off from the gym. I've learned that it's way more important to listen to your body and understand when you need to take a break or treat yo self.

Ultimately, I'm a busy college student, I want to study abroad, and I have a huge addiction to ice cream, but I also try my best to balance that out with a good diet and plenty of exercise. I tend to keep my room stocked with healthy options, but if someone asks me to go get ice cream, I will never turn that down. Don't forget, the key is to find a happy medium, and for each person that's something different.