To those not familiar with radio contesting, it is a competitive event. It is usually sponsored by a radio organization or magazine. A specific time period, usually 24 or 48 hours is specified. During that time the participants try to contact as many of the other participants as possible. The score is usually based on the number of other stations contacted multiplied by the number of geographic areas contacted. The geographic areas might be states, countries, state counties, etc., depending on the format of the contest.
The nearest analogy to radio contesting is probably automobile racing. To win that, you want to have the best car and the best driver. In a radio contest the best station and best operators have the advantage, but variation in radio propagation is the wild card, and anything can happen.
With the extended low sunspot period I have cut back on contesting, but still seriously operate the ARRL 10M contest, the major DX CW contests, and the Wisconsin QSO Party. I also do Field Day, and only missed it once since 1971. I was in Africa the year I missed it.
Between contests my main activity is DXing. I have all current countries confirmed for DXCC, plus 5BDXCC, WAZ, etc. My favorite mode is CW. My favorite band is 10M, but it has been a number of years since we had decent conditions there, and I have been concentrating on 40 and 160M the last few years.