Monday, 15 August 2022

My understanding girlfriend and lifelong love of flying

WATCHING his girlfriend race is more nerve-racking than racing himself, says Langridge.

WATCHING his girlfriend race is more nerve-racking than racing himself, says Langridge.

He has been going out with Polly Swann, a fellow GB rower, for two-and-a-half years.

Langridge says: “Watching her, I experience a bit of what my parents go through. I am sitting there on the side, wanting her to achieve but having no control. That is pretty hard.”

He says the fact that he and Swann are both rowers helps their relationship.

“When I was younger I felt I needed an escape so my girlfriends before were never rowers,” he explains. “But as I’ve got older I’ve learned to take myself away.

“Rowing takes over your life so going out with someone else in the same position helps. They understand what you’re going through. Polly understands when things have not gone well — she knows how to deal with it and how to react.”

At 32, Langridge admits Rio will almost certainly mark the end of his final Olympiad.

He says: “I’m at the point where I’m seeing these places for the last time, so I’m going to enjoy and appreciate it because I might not come back. We go all over the world and work with highly motivated people with the same goals and ambitions, so we’re lucky in that sense.”

When he finishes rowing, he plans to became a commercial pilot. “I’ve always loved flying,” he says. “As a kid, I would get excited about it — I still do. For me, being a pilot is a new challenge. It’s a new skill to learn and it’s something practical.

“I’ve been up in small planes, which I really enjoyed. You see the world from a different perspective. Weirdly, I’m not great with heights. If I’m on the edge of a cliff I’m not particularly happy but with a plane I’m totally different. I’ve never understood why.

“It will be weird stopping rowing. I have been doing the same thing for 18 years and been in the GB squad for 15 years, so to walk away and never put on the Lycra again is a weird thought.

“One of the reasons I want to do the flying is because I want to do something that excites me. A lot of my colleagues retired after London 2012 and went into the working world not knowing what to do. For me, flying is something to be excited about that is structured. I’m in training for 18 months, then a year of getting my hours up. I can go straight into it, saying ‘that’s my career path’.”

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