I have quite a complicated path:
How can I get rid of this text so I have a standard line again.
(It is nerve wracking to alter the path while having text on it)
If you are just looking to get rid of the text and keep the text path you can just use the text tool to select the text and then delete it all. The text will be removed, but the text path will say the same.
If you want a standard path to manipulate and maybe add text later you can select the path with the direct select tool (white arrow) and make a copy as the gif below shows.