As I’ve written in the past, I’ve been an on-again, off-again fan of professional wrestling for going on two decades now. In that time, I’ve had the opportunity to meet several of my favorites in person, but I never had the chance to attend a show live.

That was until last month.

Through my work here at the Herald Democrat, I was given the chance to attend my first live show with Texoma Pro Wrestling. While it was certainly different than watching it on television, I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

As a bit of background, my editor tasked members of the newsroom to write a story that is impactful, important or interesting to us by the end of the year. Initially, very few ideas came to mind as I live a fairly quiet life outside the job. However, after thinking it over, I decided to write about the local independent wrestling federation that operates out of Sherman.

The reason really was two-fold. On one hand, it gave me the opportunity to look into something I didn’t know about, namely the local wrestling scene. Secondly, at its heart, I knew that there would be a human element to the story as I talked to the men behind the personas in the ring. This may be a wrestling story, but I also felt it could be a human-interest and lifestyle story; something that I am not the most experienced at.

In short, the story gave me the opportunity to learn something new while honing my skills in a place I don’t usually get to use them.

What surprised me about the story was how open the guys that I spoke to were about their craft. Say what you will about the nature of wrestling, but I was still surprised by how candid they were about the job.

I know enough to know that the life of a professional wrestler can be tough; it doesn’t take one to know this. The hours (and travel) can be long, in some cases the pay barely covers the gas money, and despite the scripted nature, the bumps and falls still hurt.

All that said, it is another thing to be able to put a human face and voice to it all.