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"Up to Speed" Reading Guide

by Jacob Smit on 2024-03-13T11:30:00-07:00 in Biology, Culture Studies, Health Sciences, Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies | 0 Comments

Women’s History Month presents an opportunity to inform and engage with new topics by and about women.   

Up To Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes by Christine Yu is a fascinating read.  Whether or not you consider yourself an athlete, this book opens discussions on science and women’s bodies with a solution-based approach writing about truly challenging issues in the context of athletics: hormones, menstruation, nutrition, puberty, pregnancy and menopause. 

The book takes a 360-degree look at women in sports, examining what athletes have been told in the past, what researchers and innovators are doing today to make involvement in sports better for girls and women, and what questions still need to be answered in the future about female physiology to maximize the population’s potential. Yu examines female physiology as neither a problem nor a prize, but as a puzzle yet to be solved. (


Here are some of the compelling questions that will get you thinking and reading the book for answers: 

  • What is holding women back from reaching their full potential in sports?   

  • Is it the burden of waxing and waning hormones that move the goal posts in every stage of life, e.g., puberty, menstruation, pregnancy?  

  • Is it the lack of access to equipment and appropriate gear designed for the female body, e.g., comfort on a bike saddle?  

  • Is it the notion that women are playing catch up after being discouraged from living an active lifestyle for generations? 

  • Is it an equity issue about gender inclusiveness? Does this go beyond sports?  

It’s all this and more!  What questions are you looking to answer?  


Discover more titles in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion 2023-2024 Reading List, linked via image below. 


ODI Reading List Link 

Search the Library Catalog for “Up to Speed: The Groundbreaking Science of Women Athletes” for both physical and audio versions of this title. An audiobook for this title is also available on Spotify.  


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