Fit in my 40s: I love parkour, but running at walls is even harder than it looks | Zoe Williams

Anything that is too high to vault, you have to approach with a cat leap Andy Pearson, the founder of London Parkour, maintains that anyone can do parkour if they want to enough. I have always seen it somewhat differently, as a kind of street version of Cirque du Soleil, suitable for only the skinniest kid with a death wish. Walking towards a cul-de-sac full of low walls, I am disbelieving. Even someone carrying a lot of extra weight? Yes, as long as you start with what they are able to do safely. Even the strongest man on Earth? Yes, as long as you allow for his muscle ratio. We come to some walls. Pearson wants to start with focus …

Danielle Steel is a prolific writer, but is that to be envied? | Oliver Burkeman

Working all the time, shes written 179 books. But compulsive productivity has a flip side The novelist Danielle Steel has written 179 books, releasing them at the rate of seven a year and for all I know, shell have released a few more in the days between my writing this column and you reading it. But how? In an she works all the time. No, I mean, all the time: for at least 20 hours a day, with a full 24-hour day a few times a month, and one weeks holiday per year. I know the question youre about to ask, and the answer is: like Margaret Thatcher. I dont get to bed until Im so tired I could sleep …

Astrology superstar Susan Miller: ‘I can really respond to people online’

Astrologer Susan Miller has 17m followers, a figure set to double this year. So how has she made the ancient pseudo-science of fortune-telling a world-wide phenomenon? If youre not one of the 17 million readers of Cameron Diaz, who allegedly consulted her for advice before buying a house, Justin Theroux, Pharrell Williams and Alexa Chung. Miller clearly enjoys the reach and power of her online predictions. It makes me feel accomplished and I am grateful that people hand their hearts to me, she says. But ask Miller the real reason she believes she appeals to a younger generation and she insists its not completely down to her. The internet. Thats what has made astrology so popular, she says. In the …

Our goal is to halve the male suicide rate: why no-frills therapy works for men

Every week, around the country, groups of men meet for some straight-talking therapy. Could this be the answer to the male mental health crisis? A stranger has just thrown a ball at me and asked me how my week has been. Its Monday night, and Im sitting in a circle of a dozen men in a chilly community centre. This ball obliges me to tell the gang about my current emotional state. I have spent my entire adult life carefully avoiding situations like this. I came to Andys Man Club with my eyes open, thinking I was ready to share. But thats because I expected a different sort of group therapy session; a place where normal blokes could open up …

Experience: I didnt hit puberty until I was 19

It was assumed I was just a late bloomer, but the longer it went on, the more my confidence suffered As a kid, I was always small and never as strong as my peers, but what set me apart was that I had no sense of smell. At school, if somebody farted in class, I would be the only person who remained oblivious. Consequently, I always got the blame. Knowing something wasnt right, I told my mother, but she was working her guts out single-handedly to support three children. Because of my size, I was bullied almost daily. I went to a weight-training class and I could barely lift more than the bar. I enjoyed baseball and football, but lacked …