From Cadet to Fitness Guru
It is the fall of 2002, the weather is just starting to change and so are a handful of Thunderbird Cadets. Cycle 19 of the Thunderbird Youth Academy is well underway. The Cycle began on July 15th 2002 with 180 candidates looking for a change. By the third week only 124 young men and women remained to earn the title “Cadet.” Of these 124 cadets only 86 would go on to complete what they started and be distinguished with the honor of being called, “Graduate.” Fast forward the fall of 2020, nearly two decades later, and you will find that at least one of those graduates is still living what she learned all those years ago.
Erica Whitelock was a typical teenager, not too much trouble but not a lot of direction either. She was by all accounts, a normal teenager. Thunderbird was an opportunity. Thankfully Erica took that opportunity to heart. She met an eager sergeant Townsend. Sgt. Townsend was not just an average run of the mill sergeant. She had a passion for making her cadets better. And one of the ways she did that was through physical training.
As you can imagine, it didn’t take long for Erica to fall in love with physical training. So much so, that she has dedicated her life and body to train at the highest level. Recently, Erica entered the Ms. Health and Fitness national competition. As of this publication she has made the national quarter finals and hoping to go further. She attributes hard work, perseverance, and a little bit of original inspiration from Sergeant Townsend and Thunderbird to her success.