Mental Toughness

My name is Maria Allocco and I am 19 years old. I was raised in Nashville, Tennesse but then recently moved to Knoxville, TN at the beginning of my Junior year of high school. However, I was adopted in Bucharest, Romania at the age of two. My brother was also adopted from Romania, but at the age of four from a different orphanage; my brother is now 24. I grew up with my so called parents now and they have been married for 27 years. 

Throughout the move from living in Nashville to Knoxville I have attended 3 different schools, not including College. I first went to a private Catholic school kindergarden through sixth grade. Next, I attended Watertown Middle School for 2 years. After middle school, I went to Watertown High school for the first two years. At the beginning of my Junior year my family was moving to Knoxville, that is when I attended my last two years of High School at Maryville High. 

Throughout the years, sports have always played a big role in my life. Starting off at a young age watching my brother play basketball, football, and baseball I always enjoyed the action. At one point I was the water girl for his middle school football team. Growing up I also remember attending The University of Tennessee’s sporting events. I went to countless games of the Lady Vols basketball team, because we had season tickets. We also attended softball games and football games. Watching my brother play before I was able to and watching all the wonderful athletes in college it has influenced me to be a sports girl. I have tried to play every sport known, including soccer, volleyball, tennis, basketball, softball, gymnastics, swimming and track. I even tried to play hockey but my parents weren’t having that.

Though sports have always impacted my life in a postive way, they have also done so in a negative way. I have torn both ACLs, MCLs, and meniscus’ in both my knees. My first injury happened on December 5th, 2015, six games into the season. My second injury happened on December 6th, 2017 once again only six games into the season. At some point it becomes a mental game you would think! I have broken both my arms for a combined of 7 times, and have had a broken bone in both of my ankles. 

To wrap things up, what most people do not know about me is that I have a heart condition and there’s really no specific name for it. When I was younger, my heart would start racing when I would be laying down. I went to the doctor and was put on a heart monitor and they determined I had a heart murmur. However, now it no longer beats fast BUT, when I eat starchy foods such as rice, and any sort of potaoes it takes a while to go down and then I get a sharp pain in my heart and there’s no cure for it.

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