After Qiana Washington is sidelined with an ACL tear, she recovers with a new sense of hope

Strapped with a padded brace around her knee, sophomore Qiana Washington struts the halls with the next soccer game she’ll get to play on her mind. Close to a year ago, she tore her ACL, the anterior cruciate ligament, and was left on the sideline, cheering her teammates on instead of performing her passion on the field. Now that the surgery is complete and her recovery is over, she looks forward to the future.

When Washington heard from her doctor that she would not be able to play the sport she loved for an entire season due to her injury, she was heartbroken.

“My ACL injury was actually my first ever injury, in general,” Washington said. “I’ve never been hurt or anything before, and it was the worst injury you could ever get.”

The ailment not only had an effect on Washington’s sports life, but her daily life as well.

“I missed out my whole freshman year, and I didn’t get to do anything at all,” Washington said. “ It felt like all the muscles in my legs weren’t really there anymore. It was just a lot to recover from.”

But with challenge grew adversity as accommodations were made. As she was strapped with knee brace after knee brace, Washington gained a new philosophy on her injury.

“I wanted to be better than what I was before I got hurt, and that’s what I’m trying to do,” Washington said. “I’m really aiming for more this year, just going and being better than I was before.”

With clearance from her doctor and determination to exceed expectations, Washington steps on the field in her cleats. This time, she’s only on the sideline for a water break.