What Is The Moment You Knew You Were In Over Your Head?

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Photo: Mercedes Streeter

One of the goofs we are bound to make is getting in too deep on a project that we should have thought twice about. Tell us about that memorable moment when it became clear you were in over your head.

Maybe you tackled an engine swap and got halfway through before realizing you had no idea what you were doing. Maybe you decided to take your truck off-road and got stuck up to your doors in mud. Or perhaps you got your big boat stuck in the Suez Canal. It happens to the best of us!

There were a few times when I got way too far over my head. Most notably was the time when I thought that I could fix a broken Volkswagen Passat TDI, only to discover that the engine wasn’t producing any oil pressure. I cut my losses and moved on. Another time, I got too confident in my abilities to fix barn-find motorcycles. Before I knew it, I was staring at four completely trashed bikes under a tarp, covered by a foot of snow.


But it’s fine. This is all part of the experience: Learn your limits, be it skills or budget.

What is the moment that you knew you were in over your head? Is it a purchase that did you in? Is it a type of motorsport that you tried out that didn’t work out? Maybe you experienced a big fail on the job? Anything goes.