Kids like the challenge of simple Alternating Stair Climb

story.lead_photo.captionStickman demonstrates the Alternating Stair Climb. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Celia Storey)

During the first half of my career, I found myself inside a fitness center nearly every day.

Whether I was working a shift or exercising on my own, I found solace inside the exercise cathedrals that dot our Midwest landscape. No matter how large or small, each fitness center provided an atmosphere of camaraderie, encouragement and hope that I will always remember fondly.

Over the past decade, my focus has shifted to the business side — which has been altered drastically by the pandemic.

I have seen fitness center trends come and go. The ’80s featured heavy Nautilus machines, cardio-based group exercise classes and spa-like locker-room amenities. The ’90s included a greater focus on personal training and the proliferation of free-weight training for men and women.

In the 2000s there was a transition from independently owned “Mom and Pop” fitness centers

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