Bob Shohet, KQ2M
kq2m at kq2m.com
Thu Jun 27 14:11:31 EDT 2019
Personally, I can’t think of a more worthless pursuit than criticizing contesting.
Speaking for myself (but I suspect lots of others too), pursuing contesting enabled to repeatedly test and expand the limits of my knowledge, memory, reflexes, physical endurance, cognition, critical decision-making under duress and handling extreme physical and mental stress, often while severely physically compromised.
Contesting taught me how to excel and improve myself and my skills and how to continually achieve more and become better and accept responsibility for the results of my actions and inactions regardless of how I got into the situations I found myself. I have had to learn so many areas of the physical world and relearn many skills that I had left behind. I continue to use math, trigonometry, physics, chemistry, meteorology, electronics, computer science and programming and statistical modeling just to be able to build and put up antennas and towers. And my study of Nutritional Biochemistry, Medicine and Holistic Medicine has been invaluable in surviving my illnesses and maximizing my performance in contests as well as in all facets of my non-radio life. And over the decades, attempting to compete at the highest levels and against the greatest odds gave me the reserves to overcome many obstacles and successfully navigate crises that had life-altering ramifications for myself and my family. Contesting honed all of my abilities and allowed me to see and measure my progress
in real time.
Almost every non-radio accomplishment in my personal and professional life has come as a result of what I learned from contesting; how to work individually, as well as be part of a successful team. And many of the most enduring memories of my life and enduring friendships were made as a result of contests and contesting.
I could go on but I think it is obvious. Contesting has enriched my life immeasurably, so much so that I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without it. And in addition to all the things that I cited above, contesting has been immensely enjoyable for me over the decades.
Many of the greatest inventors, communicators, technologists, salespeople, businesspeople, teachers, soldiers, financial wizards, pro athletes and kind and helpful people were and are contesters. It seems that wanting to learn, strive and better ones self and/or help others seems to attract such individuals.
The next time that you feel compelled to criticize contesting as a “worthless pursuit”, ask yourself if any of things that I mentioned above would have benefitted your life
> I simply can't think of a more worthless pursuit in ham radio than contesting.
> Even showed up to field day to get a 5.9 GHz radio link going, and found out
> they can't count it as a "contact" for points. But hey, we got ARRL
> "radiograms", half the length of a tweet and twice as pointless!
> I've been involved in a few towers going up one even for ham radio, and I
> think the lowest we ever made it was a 52 MHz remote receiver for an repeater
> input. I'd love to ask that; "I have a question about my contesting
> propagation beacon that has a repeat function too", lolz.
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