It is really a tough time for me to complete another 100 virtual contests (If you are interested, you could take a look at this My advance and my thought, after completing about 100 virtual rounds, which I wrote several years ago). Once, I stopped competitive programming for a long time, and when I decided to start again, I found that I had forgot most of the advanced algorithms, data structure and tricks. I really suffered a lot when I resumed practicing, but anyway this has been the past and finally I struggled to conquer it.
Although I really feel that I have improved a lot than before, however the fact is that my rating still goes down. I thought this should make me frustrated, but I find that I do not focus so much on rating as before, while instead, I start to enjoy competitive programming itself, solving problems, learning new techniques, and so on. Of course, obtaining higher rating is still my target, but keeping up practicing and learning is more important. I don’t know if someday I will completely give up competitive programming or not, but before that day comes, I will try my best to hold on.
There is also a little story which I would like to share here. After reading my first post (see the link above), one programmer sent me a message saying that he had got encouraged a lot from my post and would work hard to practice. As far as I remember, he was a pupil (or a specialist) at that time, however, last year, when I occasionally read that message again and found that he has become a master! Wow, so amazing! Well, I wanna say that this time, I got encouraged from you, since this makes me believe again that ‘practice makes perfect’.
Finally, as an expert, what I could do is quite limited, but if you are struggling with some problem, and find that my solution has got accepted, welcome to discuss.