I've returned to full-time development after 15 years in SA/devops work. I love it and have learned new and new-to-me languages (python and go). Some things came right back and some things still take a little time. Being good at programming is independent of career, it has more to do with drive and desire and motivation.
Your career has more to do with where you want to take it and your flexibility to adjust to the situations that let you go there as much as anything else. There are plenty of shops that wear out their devs and push them in ways that only the young-uns can handle for long periods of time. (maybe that should be people-with-no-life rather than young-uns?) And there are plenty of places that you and I can contribute at high levels and be productive. It seems like you're in the latter as they gave you an alternative and a chance to prove yourself.