My first task in making my fantasy to do a three-day bike ride from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C., a reality was to come up with a name for my YSC Tour de Pink team.
As some people know, the elephant is a symbol I use for my own cancer. When I was diagnosed, an imaginary “pink elephant” was the way I communicated how I was doing to the people I love, since I had difficulty articulating my feelings. Now, almost two years later, my body is a wreck from hormone treatments, and I sometimes feel as though I’ll never live without pain again.
I have decided that, in forcing myself to do the unthinkable (riding Tour de Pink), I’ll take my body back from cancer. To me, it’s like punching cancer in the face. But, this task in front of me is so much larger than a “pink elephant” … there’s no way a “pink elephant” could accomplish this. This is WAR against cancer, and it needs something much stronger, meaner and more serious than a “pink elephant.”
So, I did some research on fighting and warrior elephants, because, let’s be honest, this IS a war, and I feel like armor and a war-like mentality are needed. I came across this and found it inspiring:
An important aspect of the war elephant was its psychological impact upon the opposing force (CANCER). A certain part of every battle was fought in the minds of the armies. Elephants would always inspire confidence in an army (ME) in which they were a part, while they would have the opposite effect upon the enemy (CANCER) — especially if the enemy soldiers had never faced these animals.
I need a bigger elephant. I need the elephant of all elephants to guide and push me through this fight. My “pink elephant” will not do.
I have decided to name my team: Airavata.
Airavata is a mythological white elephant who carries the Hindu god Indra. Airavata is the king-god of elephants, and some call it the fighting elephant. An imaginary kick-ass king elephant that can do anything???!!! How perfect is that?
With my husband riding by my side, wonderful friends and Airavata with me on Tour de Pink … how can I fail? It’s impossible!