No wonder I've gained weight. Amateur radio offers a veritable smorgasbord of delicious choices. Today, however, there's only one item on our menu: CONTESTING.
I don't know if Ovid was right when he said horses run faster when competing with other horses, but I do think people push harder when competing with other people. And I also believe that in general, the more we compete at something, the more we push at it, the better we get. So you could say that competition is the whetstone of talent, and participation in amateur radio contests can definitely sharpen our operating skills.
There are hundreds of contests every year, and winning is a relative term. Some contesters work non-stop (except for the obvious necessary breaks) for the duration, and rack up a ton of points and prizes. Others may operate briefly, but consider their efforts successful if they make contact with a new country or state.
The following illustrates just how dedicated (and engrossed) an operator can be during a contest:
So bottom line, I guess contesting can become almost addictive, if you let it. Contests definitely encourage operators to make the most of their equipment and to hone their operating skills.
And pssssst! They're also FUN!