Dear friends,

I admit it.

I got emotionally involved with one of the stories in this month’s Health & Fitness issue. I got too close. I was a nervous mess before the photo shoot, with butterflies doing a number, my head swimming.  Athletes. Dedication, finesse, strength, success.

I love them all!

Meet our first ever Lifestyle Publications All-Star Team!  These sixteen amazing girls from high schools in our magazines’ readerships represent the best of the best. And, while their athletic accomplishments are nothing short of spectacular, we pause to applaud because of their balance.

Kennedy Thorne, is the captain of the Alpharetta High School champion cross country team. She is wise AND talented. “First off, you have to define your priorities and adjust your schedule accordingly. Look to your future and reevaluate what you want your life to look like and then think how might you get there,” she says. We should all take her advice, on and off the field.

Venla Harkonen is in eighth grade at Fulton Science Academy. She recently helped raise funds and awareness for cancer research with Seim Across America where she clocked the fastest in the girl’s mile.  She’s also a Girl Scout (as was I, at her age)  “I’m a Cadette in Troop 29349. We have done projects like collecting shoes, collecting blankets for animal shelters, and I have started and run the environmental club at my school for my Silver Project.” That’s what I’m talkin’ about! These girls stole my heart and I know they will steal yours too.  The portraits are by Fredrik Brauer.