As a three-sport athlete who never knew high school without constant practices and games, Berthoud High School senior Aidan Carr never considered what life would look like without the sports she loved. So when she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) at the end of her junior-year lacrosse season, Aidan didn’t want to accept what she knew to be true.
Cheering on Her Teammates Through the Pain
“There was a very loud pop you hear internally. It’s very loud and there’s so much pain after. It’s one of the most painful things I’ve been through,” Aidan recalled of the tear. “You definitely hear it and know what happened.”
But because Aidan and her teammates were in the middle of the state championship lacrosse game, during which Aidan was announced as an All-American for U.S. Lacrosse, she cheered her team on from the sidelines, and concentrated on not thinking about what might have happened to her knee. She refers to that day in May of 2022 as “an emotional rollercoaster of a day.”
“Everybody just kind of ignored it,” she said. “Those girls are my sisters and best friends. For that hour I didn’t want to focus on what I couldn’t do for the team.”
Later, Aidan would find out the severity of her injury, and would realize that it would mean having surgery to rebuild the ACL. This also meant missing out on her last year of club lacrosse, as well as her senior-year basketball season – a sport that, like lacrosse, she was very passionate about.
“I decided I would just be a welcoming person to everyone,” Aidan Carr recalls. “I could go to basketball two times a week and focus on helping the underclassmen.”
Aidan spent her senior basketball season on the sidelines taking stats and supporting the other players, including her younger sister.
“I tried to help build their confidence and be a support system for everyone who needed it,” she says.
Aidan Carr Finds Resilience and a New Perspective
In the meantime, she focused on rehabilitating her knee so she could play lacrosse her senior year. Having grown up in a family that watched and participated in any and every sport they could, Aidan knew she wanted to do everything possible to be able to join her lacrosse team for one last season.
“It’s just the best team culture. I love the competitive nature and the game,” she explains.
“At the end of the day, it’s just for fun, but it’s a community. I bond with the girls on my teams over the love we have for the game.”
Aidan loves the game so much, she plans to keep playing after high school. She will attend the University of Colorado – Boulder on a lacrosse scholarship. And she will take with her the lessons she learned recovering from an injury and surgery.
“It really shows me that life goes on. You can lose something you love so much, and you just have to deal with it,” she says. “You have to find the role you can play without doing what you wanted to do, instead of feeling sorry for yourself.”
“Everything works out, whether it’s an injury in sports or a job you didn’t get that you wanted. You just have to move forward and not think about what could have happened.”
Aidan is also the first to admit that her injury has given her a new perspective on lacrosse that she didn’t have before.
“It stinks because I had to have such a severe injury to realize it, how much I was taking it for granted,” she says. “Thank God I can go back to it. I hope other people can realize how much they love their sport without the injury.”
Portrait of a Graduate
Engages in problem-solving to overcome obstacles