Lisa Ward never quite seemed to fit in among her childhood peers growing up. As far back as the 115 lb fighter widely considered to be among the best female mixed martial artists in the sport can remember, she always seemed to have a problem blending in.
"It was really rough because I was a little bit chunky all through elementary and junior high so I would get called "fatso"," recalled Ward. "I remember girls poking my belly and saying, ‘Pillsbury Dough-Girl’, and then hit me in the head. I joined the soccer team when I was little and like my first day there this girl comes up to me and says, ‘Pillsbury Dough-Girl’, and then takes the bottom of her hand and hits me in the head as hard as she could.
And the torment didn’t slow up one bit once the stocky teenager made the decision to join the boy’s wrestling team in high school.
"I got harassed," admitted Ward. "The guys didn’t take it easy on me at all. If anything, I probably got it worse because I was a girl. I was always the smaller one so I always got kind of shoved around and the guys would say, ‘Hurry up! Don’t make us run more.’"
From the wrestling mat to the hallways of her high school, Ward couldn’t seem to catch a break among those her age.
"I was tortured in school," said Ward. "I kept to myself a lot. The boys and the girls would make fun of me because I wrestled and they would just harass me every day.