Brick family

Lynne Brick with her husband, Victor, and their children Vicki Brick (right) and Jon Brick (left). (Lloyd Fox, Baltimore Sun Photo / July 10, 2012)

Fresh from playing basketball after college in Peru, Jon Brick started his career — getting in on the ground floor at one of Mom and Dad's gyms, working for his big sister, Vicki.

The scions of the Brick Bodies enterprise were adults now. They had sparred at younger ages, but they had grown up. They could run a club, teach classes, supervise trainers, recruit members, maintain facilities in perfect harmony, right?

No, not easily.

Over four months of (trying to) work together, Type-A Vicki rode him hard — harder than the other employees, it seemed to Jon.

Used to calling the shots as an executive officer at the Citadel, Jon was resentful. He copped an attitude.

It was like they were children all over again. Or, as they call it, a "disaster."

Still, Jon admits, he shouldn't have been surprised.

"She has done that my whole life," he says with a laugh.

Welcome to the loving rivalry of the Brick family.

In 1985, when parents Lynne and Victor Brick borrowed $125,000 from Victor's dad to buy the Padonia Fitness Center in Timonium, they were gambling with family money. Now, they're looking at a $43 million operation and a plan to pass the Brick Bodies torch to Vicki and Jon.

For the younger Bricks, the journey to this point has been a test of — and testament to — sibling bonds.

Mom Lynne says her children were competitors from the start, whether against each other or on college basketball teams. Yet, they had each other's backs when it mattered.

"It's funny because we always thought Vicki regretted the day we ever brought Jon home from the hospital," Lynne says. "But if anyone else messed with him, she was always there to defend him. Only she was allowed to pick on him."

At 31, Vicki is confident, poised, a natural promoter who relishes the spotlight. She's long-legged with sleek, dark hair. Jon, 26, is calm, analytical, creative. He has clean-cut good looks and their father's height.

As a girl, she wore leotards and commandeered aerobics classes to perform dance routines for members. He played for hours on the weight machines. When their parents traveled to conventions, he would wear a sign that said: "Buy my parents' videotape. I need to eat."

Vicki jokes: "I can't confirm anything I may have done to my brother as kid."

Jon can: "She was definitely bossy."

The two lived out their childhoods inside Brick Bodies. Members watched them progress from waddling toddlers to teenagers playing one-on-one basketball.

"I have literally seen Jon and Vicki grow up in that gym," said 67-year-old Dave Pivec, owner of Piv's Pub in Timonium and one of Brick Bodies' original members.