"I was up and walking the next day."
For Mark Reynolds, sports are a way of life. He was a three-season athlete at Pittsfield High and went on to play baseball at Hudson Valley Community College. He continued to hold down the shortstop position on his softball team until well into his thirties, when he took up running, competing in marathons and "The Josh," Berkshire County's own Josh Billings RunAground Triathlon. Reynolds fashioned his passion for athletics into a career, too, as owner of Reynolds Team Sales, a sporting goods business that seeks, as Reynolds says, "to get athletes the things they need to perform at their highest level."
As he reached his mid-fifties, Reynolds found his own performances becoming more painful than pleasurable. At first, he thought the cause was a knee problem, but in October 2006, Dr. Herbert Boté spotted arthritis and other signs of deterioration in his right hip. "He told me I could do anything I wanted," Reynolds remembers. "But I went to Florida in February to play golf and I couldn't get set up over a drive or a putt. My hip was killing me. When we got back, I went to see Dr. Boté. After taking another X-ray, he laughed and said, ‘I know why you're here.' Two weeks later, I had a new hip."
A barrel-chested man with a balding pate that's often obscured beneath a baseball cap, Reynolds remembers the entire experience in detail. First, he did his homework. "Baby boomers always have to know more than the next person. My new hip is a Zimmer polyethylene insert," he says proudly. "I went in to see Dr. Boté with about twenty questions."
After the procedure, he recalls, "The nurses were fabulous, helping me manage my pain level. The physical therapy people had me up and walking the next day." After four nights in the hospital, he went home and just a week after the surgery, he started rehabilitation. "I did the work religiously, exercising three times a day."
Married thirty years and the father of two grown children, Reynolds still resides in Pittsfield, as he has all his life. Once again, the aging athlete is back in the completion. "I told them I wanted to play in the Boys and Girls Club Alumni Tournament. They got me there-and my team came in fourth. I can golf with pleasure now. I'll play tons more golf next year and spin more on the bike. I'll paddle much more, too-I'm going to buy a new kayak." Reynolds' inner athlete, despite the passage of years, is still alive and well and pursuing his passions.