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Good for a Girl summary

Lauren Fleshman

A Woman Running in a Man's World

4.8 (18 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

'Good for a Girl' by Lauren Fleshman is a memoir that recounts the author's journey as a runner while breaking down the barriers women face in sports. It sheds light on the struggles to achieve gender equality and provides insights into what it means to be a female athlete.

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    Good for a Girl
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    Puberty and sports

    Lauren grew up believing that boys and girls were pretty much alike, except for a few little differences in their physiques. If a boy could do something, she was certain she could do it too – and even do it better! 

    This drive of hers was ignited by the fact that women around her were rising up and becoming the firsts in their fields – from Sandra Day O'Connor being the first female member of the Supreme Court to Joan Benoit becoming the first female runner to win the women's Olympic marathon.

    Seeing women break barriers like that inspired Lauren to show the world what she was made of. And that's exactly what she did. She consistently beat her male playmates in tetherball and often outran everyone in her middle-school PE class. 

    Having discovered her inner athlete, Lauren was feeling quite good about herself – until a fateful PE class when a boy surpassed her race time out of the blue.

    That was when she was hit with the hard truth: boys and girls aren't the same after all, and puberty is to blame. Yes, girls aged 12 and below can keep up just fine with the boys when it comes to sports. But when those hormones start kicking in, things can really start to diverge. Suddenly, boys and girls are developing in completely different ways. 

    Changes in female bodies start affecting their movement, and sometimes prevent them from participating in sports altogether. A 2016 study of over 2,000 British schoolgirls revealed that 76 percent feel self-conscious about their breasts during sports or exercise. Nearly half said it directly impacted how active they were. In the US, there’s also an alarmingly high rate of attrition among female sports participants around the age of 14. 

    Luckily for Lauren, she was a late bloomer and didn’t develop breasts as fast as her peers did. This meant she could keep playing sports and chasing her athletic dreams without worrying too much about the changes that come with puberty. 

    When she finally got to high school, being late to the puberty game turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She was a rising track star, making her way to the Foot Locker Cross Country Nationals twice and winning the California Cross Country State Championships. 

    Soon enough, universities were lining up at her door to make their offers.

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    What is Good for a Girl about?

    Good for a Girl (2023) chronicles the career of pro runner Lauren Fleshman, and the issues with the sports system she encountered along the way. It’s both a memoir detailing her life and a manifesto crying for change.

    Good for a Girl Review

    Good for a Girl (2021) is an empowering memoir by Lauren Fleshman that encourages women to embrace their athletic aspirations and defy societal expectations. Here are three reasons why this book is worth reading:

    • With honesty and vulnerability, Fleshman shares her journey as a professional runner, highlighting the challenges and triumphs that come with pursuing a passion.
    • The book emphasizes the importance of self-belief and perseverance, motivating readers to overcome obstacles and redefine what it means to be a successful woman.
    • Through personal anecdotes and practical advice, Fleshman offers a refreshing perspective on fitness, body image, and the pursuit of athletic excellence, making the book engaging and relatable.

    Who should read Good for a Girl?

    • Aspiring female athletes and coaches
    • Advocates of sports industry change
    • Fans of Lauren Fleshman

    About the Author

    Lauren Fleshman is a retired US-American long-distance runner who now coaches her own team. In her heyday, she won the US National Championships twice and attained two Diamond League titles. 

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    Good for a Girl FAQs 

    What is the main message of Good for a Girl?

    The main message of Good for a Girl is empowerment and breaking barriers in sports.

    How long does it take to read Good for a Girl?

    The reading time for Good for a Girl varies, but it typically takes several hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Good for a Girl a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Good for a Girl is worth reading for its inspiring journey and insightful advice on pushing boundaries.

    Who is the author of Good for a Girl?

    Lauren Fleshman is the author of Good for a Girl.