‘I wouldn’t be the refugee, I’d be the girl who kicked ass’: how taekwondo made me

The long read: When she arrived in the US as a 10-year-old refugee, Dina Nayeri found it hard to fit in. But that all changed when she hatched a plan to get into Harvard by becoming a taekwondo champion When I was 13, three years after arriving in the US with my mother and brother, I devised a plan to get into the Ivy League. I was a refugee kid with no money and I lived in Iran, she had done horse-riding and tennis. But then the revolution happened, and her sporty body was draped and forgotten. Banned from public exercise, she took to pounding her ass against walls to get that chic, saddle-flattened effect of the late 70s. Sometimes …

Lets stop pretending exercise is fun. Like work, youve just got to do it | Barbara Ellen

Talk of endorphins simply builds up false expectations of the thrill of working out Heres a harsh truth about fitness that you dont often hear exercise sucks. For some of us anyway. I envy those people I see posting online about their completed half-marathons, with messianic zeal (I feel so alive!). For people like myself, theres no redemptive endorphin rush. Exercising is just a repetitive bore to be dreaded and endured. If a Slendertone-thingy machine actually did the same job with electronic pads, as I sprawled on the sofa watching Lindsay Lohans Beach Club, Id sell my childrens kidneys to buy it. Worst of all, tedious though it is, for most, exercise is beyond beneficial, its vital health, wellbeing, weight, …