Journey into the High Holidays with Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. It’s a daily dose of inspiration to get you focused and ready for the new year, featuring daily intentions, simple tasks, and tools for living better.

Take on a challenge, but know your limits.

The pain in my left knee started around mile 42, after the sixth hill, and kept getting worse. It was my first big bike ride—53 miles the first day and 40 more the next—and I was with a Hazon team. The most I’ve ever ridden is 18 miles, and I guess I didn’t train enough. Or my knee just had enough.

The question: should I ignore the pain and keep going, or should I stop? My inner dialogue was racing with each pedal stroke. But finally, when tears took over and my knee was burning up, I saw a sign on the road ahead of me: Do Not Pass. I got off the bike, disappointed but proud of my 44 miles, and was taken back to base camp to reunite with the other riders, a supportive temporary community.

Prepent Day 26: Choose a challenge for yourself this coming year. Push yourself to go beyond your comfort zone to grow, expand, and reach new horizons. Maybe that’s learning a new skill or mastering an athletic task, volunteering or a new daily habit.

Choose a challenge, but know your limit.And: Plan ahead. Like swimming from Cuba to Miami – no matter what age you are!

I’m so proud of my commitment to challenge myself with this bike ride and have no doubt that I’ll continue—the rush of working hard, the joy of the ride, the commitment to better health and ongoing exercise made it all worth it, even the pain. I may have pushed myself too far; limping along a beautiful country road, waiting for Hazon’s kind and helpful crew to pick me up, I enjoyed 30 minutes of serenity and solitude, thinking about willpower, challenges, and limits.

I felt like Jacob, limping away from the fateful wrestle with a mysterious stranger on the banks of the river that led him back home. Afterwards he’s renamed Israel—the one who wrestles with the divine. Though I wasn’t wrestling with God, only battling my personal thresholds, I still walked away with a greater sense of humility, awareness of human fragility, and appreciation for every step and RPM.

Wrestle on! Challenge yourself to get closer to who you want to be this coming year—it’s only two days away.

Follow along with the Scroll’s daily Prepent series here.

Prepent Day 26: Take on a challenge – but know your limits..
Prepent Day 27: Making a Wish


Rabbi Amichai & Lab/Shul’s annual Elul journey into the new Jewish year with 40 daily communally co-created inspirations to help us begin the year with more focus and presence.

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