I am in my 30's working as a musician. I was not good at math in school or science or standardized testing. In elementary school I was diagnosed as learning disabled and placed in special, slower classes. In the early days school was a laborious struggle for me. I'm not smart. I'm not gifted. In terms of programming, I took one java course in college and nearly failed it.
But here I am attempting competitive programming. This is my journey. I plan on documenting progress here.
For the past 6 weeks I've been practicing roughly 2 hours a day. I can solve 800 — 1000 level problems in 15 to 30 minutes. I don't know many data structures and mostly rely on brute force and implementation and some knowledge of the cpp standard library. I've been practicing mostly with USACO bronze level problems which I find far more difficult than the 800 — 1000 level problems I've seen on codeforces. Often these problems take 1.5 to 2 hours for me to solve. Often times I do not pass all test cases. Often times I have to look up the answer as I am completely stuck. I have difficulty understanding the problems. I tend to overthink and somehow add layers of complexity that don't exist. If the problem asks for the sum of time intervals, in my head, I'll try to solve it for the sum of contiguous time intervals. I don't know why my brain modifies the problems to make them more difficult. But that's something I am dealing with right now.