Elite runner, women’s sports advocate and new author Lauren Fleshman in action. Photo courtesy of Oiselle.

Passed in 1972, Title IX was a landmark civil rights law that mandated equal opportunities in sports for women, prohibiting gender discrimination and increasing funding for programs that served women and girls. Fifty years later we still have a long way to go, writes Lauren Fleshman in her new book Good for a Girl: A Woman Running in a Man’s World (Penguin Press).

Fleshman is an elite runner who became one of the most decorated college athletes in her time at Stanford, and subsequently a national champion. In her book, she takes us from her joyful discovery of running as a pre-teen through the many challenges of navigating the world as a woman athlete, from hitting puberty without guidance on how it affects athletic ability to the gender pay gap and the eating disorders that come from pressure to maintain an idealized physique.

Even non-athletes will find Fleshman’s story compelling, and she deftly weaves it into the call for reform and solutions she believes are necessary to create a more equitable experience for females and female-bodied people.