Vicki is clear that she began picking on her brother early on — sticking spaghetti up his nose in a playful attempt to suffocate him or throwing cotton balls at him as he dozed in his bassinet. Then there was the time she told him to drink dishwater to clean his teeth.

Another time Lynne came home to find Jon peering down a storm drain in the backyard. Vicki had told him his mom fell down the drain and ran away.

They were different from the start, too.

Jon was laid-back and sensitive, with a head full of ringlets, says Lynne. He could draw before he could write, he says. Vicki was the serious one, born with an intense gaze and calves "like golf balls."

Vicki was the better athlete and let her brother know it, until Jon grew up and accidentally bumped her in the nose while playing basketball. Blood gushed. Screaming ensued. Jon ran away for a couple of hours, scared of his sister's wrath.

"All I heard was screaming from my bedroom," Lynne Brick says. "That was a game changer for both of them. Vicki realized, 'My little brother is now big, and I can no longer mess with him.'"

They discovered common ground, of a sort, as the children of entrepreneurs.

They found that the company took too much of their parents' time. Vicki and Jon would tire of fitness conventions and missed their parents when they traveled alone. Brother and sister became united in their resentment of Brick Bodies.

"As I got older, I wanted nothing to do with the company," Vicki Brick says on a recent afternoon while sitting in a Brick Bodies gym in Reisterstown. "It represented everything that took my parents away for so much of the time."

They also had a competitive streak in common. As teens, they were basketball standouts at the McDonogh School in Owings Mills. They did shooting drills on the court of Brick Bodies as their dad coached.

Practice paid off. They both received full college scholarships to play basketball. Vicki was a guard for the Maryland Terps, Jon a guard — and team captain — for The Citadel Bulldogs.

It was when they went away to college that the sibling rivalry cooled for a while. Vicki would give her brother basketball tips.

"We didn't butt heads as much because we were both out of the house," Jon says. "We realized that maybe we took some things for granted. There was less tension and our relationship was more enjoyable."

As the two prospered at sports, they drifted further from Brick Bodies. After college, both played overseas rather than go work for the family business. Vicki played for the Sydney Flames in Australia and the national team of the Philippines, where her father's family is from. Jon played for Real Club de Lima in Peru. They also both worked for other fitness firms in Australia. Vicki had goals of becoming a sportscaster.

But eventually, both found themselves stalled in life. Much as they fought it, they found themselves pulled back in to the family business.

There would be no handouts, though. Victor and Lynne wanted their kids to start at the bottom and learn the ropes. Both started off in sales and eventually worked their way up.

Vicki said she felt an instant connection when she started working at her parents' company. She was surprised at how much she liked it.

"I had no idea I was going to feel this rush and get excited about getting out of the bed in the morning," she says.

But rivalry reared its head again.

Working together in the same club for four months, they couldn't separate the sibling roles from the professional roles.