In 2017, Alex Honnold did what was thought impossible. He made the first free solo ascent of El Capitan in Yosemite. In my estimation, the greatest athletic feat ever.
Athletes and musicians all require training our muscles to do things that are difficult to do. And we want to do it with just a little more speed, grace and precision than thought possible.
Athletes and musicians tend to reach a performance peak in their late teens or 20s and then return to more normal behavior.
Trait #3 of life-long violinists — we play music that is more accessible and less demanding than when we were 18.
The lack of competition and performances no longer motivates players to put in the work required to play at that level.
That is good news for the 99.99% of violin players that will never complete the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.
Life-long violinists tend to social players. And social music is less demanding than the advanced violin repertoire.
A few young violinists will always want to find the limits of their potential. They will climb the musical mountains that they see.
But the fact that life-long players enjoy less demanding music is good news for the typical young player who are not interested in the musical mountain tops.
Recreational musicians that enjoy playing later in life are not playing at those altitudes.