Good for a Girl Book Summary - Good for a Girl Book explained in key points
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Good for a Girl summary

Lauren Fleshman

A Woman Running in a Man's World

4.9 (16 ratings)
17 mins
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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.

    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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