This blog was originally published in December 2008
The four simple letters HTFU stand for; Harden The F@€k UP. The idea is everytime you find yourself cringing, smarting or moaning about something beyond your control you counteract the negative thought with a quick HTFU (ideally with an aussie accent) .
Its snowing outside and you´re finding it hard to get out of your sleeping bag for a day in the cold and wet?
The prospect of putting on the same damp clothes that you´ve been wearing for the last three weeks makes you cringe?
You can´t feel your fingers as its theres a bitter wind and your gloves are soaked?
You miss your girlfriend and wonder why the hell you are on a bike in the Pyrenees in the winter and not sitting on the couch with a take-away a bottle of wine and a DVD?
Yep, you guessed it; HTFU
Ultimately, HTFU is a strategy for dealing with discomfort and pain, for turning a negative thought back in on itself and diffusing the disruptive and destructive feelings before they colour the world in the wrong shade. Simon has been using it as a mantra to get past the burn on particualrly grueling climbs. Personally, I prefer “come on te f@”k” (preferably with a deep dub accent). Really, the words don´t matter, its the sentiment behind tham thats important, and by adopting HTFU we are trying to get into the right mindset to grin and bear whatever comes our way.
That senitment has lead us to forgo wearing our gloves when our fingers are numb, and not wearing our heaviest fleece when we were cold- because if we need them in comfortable Europe, if we breakout our Trumps now, then we´ve nothing left for down the road when it will be even colder/wetter/harder. At least there’s comfort in knowing that we have gloves and more clothes to fall back on, even if there is present discomfort without them.
So, why HTFU, why bother Hardening The F@#k Up in the first place? Because every now and then, when you are grinding your articulated 50kg bicycle up a 3km climb, you’re wet and your ears are stinging from the cold air and rain, the ipod shuffle throws out the right song, and for 3minutes and 53 seconds you understand what its about in a way that you never would otherwise. You realise that “Times Like These” is actually a time like this and if you never HTFU’d you wouldn’t be here- you might be at home watching TV or sitting at desk somewhere dreaming of being there. And Times Like These would just be be Times Like Those, and you’d never know the bitter sweetness of trully living of trully being in the world – not dreaming of it at a desk, not watching it on telly, and not trying to ignore it with detached ignorance or drowning it in a pickled stupor.
Thats why we’ll be HTFUing with gusto.