I started boating at 46 and now I'm 58. I'm damn glad to have found paddling. I blew out a knee in my 30's and lost access to the sports I grew up loving. Now I've got paddling, and the passion I have for it and the folks I hang with cuz of it make a huge difference in my life. I hope to keep getting out in one form or another until... I can't.
I can't paddle at the level I once did and I often paddle with young studs and studdettes that are much better than me. The trick is to really get to know yourself. The point is to have fun, though I'm an adrenaline junky too, but always be willing to scout and/or walk and don't put yourself in a position where yer paddling with people that don't support you doing that. Find a good group, a club can be a good way to expand paddling connections, that's paddling stuff yer comfortable with. Push when you feel it, walk or run something different when you feel that.
But if you've got the fever, the passion, then I say stoke it, feed it. How often do we get to do/love something so much that's so good for us? Hope you have a great season. I know I'm really looking forward to mine.