Jaybird, man, you stated something that I have been battling with internally for the last two seasons. Granted, I'm what I consider still fairly new to riding. I, like Hotfoot started riding in my opinion, late (early thirties to be exact), and I started doing track days just two seasons ago. I know I'm still relatively inexperienced when it comes to the track even though I've done levels 1 - 3 with CSS and about 3 other track days. I learned early on when I began riding that I LOVE riding, and I started following MotoGP and WSBK as well as MotoAmerica. I never thought I'd be as passionate about it as I am and like you, I have the desire to eventually race, and hopefully one day compete among some of the best. I've been asking myself the same questions. "Am I past that age?", "did I miss my opportunity?", "Whats my limit?", "Can I ever even reach that level?". I wonder if I'll ever have that "ah-ha" breakthrough moment that opens up as you stated "limitless improvement" or if I missed it because I started so late in life. Think about it, most of the "Pros" you see on TV have been on or around bikes probably since the age of 4 and here I am so late to the party. I can relate brother.
Hotfoot, your words are a breath of fresh air on this topic to me. It tells me that the only real limit is myself. Don't get me wrong, I'm not suddenly filled with hope that I'll be side by side up against Marc Marquez in the near future, but that I can always improve. I remember three years ago, I was at the motorcycle show at the Javits Center talking to one of the coaches for TPM (Team Pro Motion) and he asked my why I wanted to ride the track. My answer back then was, and still today is to get better. Yes I want to go fast, to be faster, but to go faster you have to get better, you have master your craft. I know I still have a long way to go but reading Hotfoot's comment I realize that there is no definitive window of opportunity that can be missed when it comes to learning and improving, that as long as you're willing to learn and pursue improvement, you WILL improve. I'm no where near as good as I want to be, I'm still chasing that knee drag moment but I know in time it will come, and now I firmly believe that in time I WILL find myself competing on some level eventually. Jay, if its what you truly want to achieve, you can and you will.