Editor’s Note: July 2017

Welcome to our annual Best issue. Apparently, I don’t have to pitch this story too hard, as this issue is always one of our top sellers. You seek it out, yearning for the latest intel on the county’s hot spots. This year we tell you about where to find the best indoor playground, curly hair experts, children’s couture, and much more.

So let me steer you toward some other great stuff in the magazine. We’re shining a light on wellness—with stories about an 11-year-old yoga instructor in San Clemente and at least three O.C. cycling groups just for women. What both of these tales highlight are the mental and emotional rewards of exercise. Though yoga and cycling might seem opposite ends of the fitness spectrum, they share common threads—being alone in your head space; competing only if you want to; easy to start with no prior experience; and the profound sense of accomplishment upon surpassing each goal or new level.

Additionally, the people profiled in these articles have similar reasons for embarking on physical challenges. They hit a wall in life: an illness, depression, a sudden unpleasant change in circumstances. They were forced to find a way to get past that, even at 6 years old in one case. And they found a sense of community and purpose in sharing their newfound well-being. We hope their stories are as uplifting to you as they are to us. Be inspired to challenge yourself, break out of a rut, and try something new. Hiking? Zumba? Swimming? We’ve got ideas for those and more in this issue. Enjoy!

—Alan Gibbons

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