There’s often a theme with the women featured in GORGO; many times their stories involve a return to fitness or athleticism, after a detour that might have come about because of career, or school, or starting a family.
But for GORGO CEO and Sisters in Shape owner/coach Erica Willick, that journey towards fitness started later in life, and represented an important shift, both physically and mentally.
“I was a big dreamer as a child,” Erica says. “And then later on, like many adolescents, I started wearing labels that others gave to me. A “Thinker”, the “Smart Kid”—not athletic. I always won the award on the team for trying really hard, but I was never first string anything.”
Those labels led to a self-identification as a “geek”, and that was a persona that paid off big for Erica in university; she excelled academically, and was on the fast track to realizing her dreams when tragedy struck.
“In my second year of university,” Erica says, “My mom was killed in a car accident.”
The unexpected blow devastated Erica’s large family, and another of her labels—that of the “Good Girl”—came to the forefront as she stepped up to the challenge of helping her father and her younger siblings deal with a new way of life.
Erica moved home and was strong for her family…even as she herself was trying to come to terms with an earth-shattering loss. Amazingly, she continued her education, even graduating in the top of her class, and went on to a great corporate job at a high-powered accounting firm.
All of the labels seemed to still fit, and serve her well; the geeky, smart, “good girl” was on the fast track to realizing all of her career dreams, but inside, there was a struggle raging.
“It’s not unusual for people to experience serious depression or other mental issues after a tragic loss,” Erica says, “And I struggled with that through my early twenties.”