Adrian Altman, family law solicitor at Bradford-based Williscroft & Co, talks about his passion for ice skating.
I’ve never been a Torvill, or a Dean for that matter, but watching ITV’s Dancing on Ice truly inspired me to take to the rink and push my boundaries with something that offered a complete contrast to my devoted career in law.
My love for ice-skating began as a child when watching TV was an event with the family. We gathered round the box back in 1984 to see Torvill and Dean become the highest-scoring figure skaters of all time with Ravel’s Bolero at the Winter Olympics. For me, it wasn’t just a sport but a beautiful performance with awe-inspiring skill.
I’m lucky to have witnessed dazzling performances of Swan Lake by a Russian skating company and hope to attend the European Figure Skating Championships held in England for the first time in 20 years in Sheffield for 2012. My passion grew in 2009 when I signed up for casual fun-filled lessons at Bradford Ice Rink. As soon as I stepped onto the ice, my life changed.
What started off as a quirky hobby quickly turned into something I was quite serious about and I decided to take private lessons.
As my skills grew, I continued with my intense weekly training and, as with everything I set my mind to, I became determined to master the art.
Every available Tuesday evening for the past two years I have met my coach – whom I am pleased to say is a lot nicer person than Dancing on Ice’s dragon Jason Gardener.
With expert training I have moved my way up Skate UK’s 10 ranks and now practise at a silver Skate Star level, something I am extremely proud of achieving in such a short time.
Skaters require the balance of a cat, which admittedly was a challenge from the beginning, but as a long-standing family trait, being faced with a challenge only spurred me on.
A dislocated thumb and a few falls later, I am now aiming to skate at gold level which would be a wonderful accolade as an amateur in such an intricate and skilled sport.
The opportunity to apply myself to something which looked like bags of fun has transformed my life and is now a hobby I hope to continue for many years.
Once the skates are on and I’m on the ice it’s imperative to remain focused which works wonders for my concentration levels and positive mind-set.
I am a great believer in having an outlet for therapeutic release, especially in such a high-pressured, intense job. So, by day I give my all to each and every family law case we are working on and by night the cold ice rink gives me a cool space to clear my mind for the week ahead.
Although Jason might have some choice words to say if he were to judge my professional footwork, Dancing on Ice better watch out as I take on gold.