Injury: The Alex Judge Experience
May 16, 2018
Injury. It’s never going to happen to you right?
Chances are: it will. Approximately 2 million high school athletes are injured each year. For some it could be a sprained ankle or a concussion, but for Alex Judge, SHA sophomore and Varsity athlete, it was a torn ACL, MCL, AND LCL. This injury has not only affected her athletic prospects for the spring season, but also the upcoming fall season. However, Judge is refreshingly optimistic for not only a full recovery, but also an improvement in her athleticism.
Alex Judge has been playing lacrosse since she was eight years old. Starting in North Carolina, lacrosse has stuck with her all the way to her freshman year of high school at SHA. In both her freshman and sophomore years, she made Varsity lacrosse as the starting center. It was this year at a practice that things changed. Running, cradling, and pivoting- just another move in the game of lacrosse. However, a pivot in the wrong direction caused Judge’s knee to give out. Recounting the event Judge said: “Once I heard a pop in my knee, I felt a disconnect and knew that something was definitely wrong.” Judge had torn her ACL, LCL, AND MCL, so her knee suffered a grievous injury. Judge’s concerns went from beating Mount’s Varsity lacrosse team to scheduling surgeries and going to physical therapy appointments.
Because of the complexity of her injury, Judge has needed a combination of surgery and physical therapy to get onto the road to recovery. Monotonous exercises turn a lot of people against physical therapy, but Judge has a different perspective on her sessions. She said, “It makes me feel like I am making a difference in my recovery process and it helps knowing that with every physical therapy session, I am one step closer.” Judge speaks like a true veteran of injury, however this is Judge’s first injury. Before this, Judge has never even encountered a sprained ankle or laceration needing stitches. Needless to say, the delicacy of her injury and recovery means that Judge will not be able to play on the SHA lacrosse team or her summer travel team, possibly not even the SHA cross country team in the fall. But that does not mean that Judge is not a participating member of the team. Judge continues to support her team at games, in both wins and losses. On this topic Judge stated: “While it may be sad to watch your team play without you, I can find pride in my team’s successes. Just because you’re injured, it doesn’t mean that you have to totally disconnect yourself from sports.”
As Judge continues to support her team, her team supports her. The SHA varsity lacrosse team has exemplified what it means to be a team in their support for Judge. She said, “The support I get from them makes me want to work harder in physical therapy for them, and it shows how much they really care about my injury.”
Alex Judge is optimistic, but her journey has not been easy. Before her injury, Judge held the common idea that an injury probably won’t happen to her. Now she says, “Now that it is me, it’s definitely an experience I could never prepare for. I always knew that injuries were hard, but not in this way.” Recovery takes an immense amount of time and effort, and in some cases it deflates ambition. Judge refuses to be defeated by her injury, just like she refuses to be defeated in a game. When asked what she sees in her athletic future she said: “I look to come back stronger than ever, to have better than ever speed and stick skills. I’ve also gained such a hunger to play and help my team in that way, and I think a drive like that could take my potential to new heights. More than anything though, I look forward to playing with my team again.”
I have no doubt that we will see her excel on the field next season.