Mom leads fitness event at Aim High to benefit Autism Speaks

FAIRVIEW VILLAGE – A mother of a five-year-old daughter with autism is using her passion for fitness to benefit Autism Speaks.

Mary Henderson will lead a Pound workout at Aim High Studio in Fairview Village on September 16th at 1 p.m. to raise funds for Autism Speaks, which is dedicated to promoting solutions across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan for the needs of individuals with autism and their families through advocacy and support. The event will feature a forty-five minute class, light beverages, snacks, and representatives from Autism Speaks, and Pound.

The Pound workout uses Ripstix, lightly weighted drumsticks engineered specifically for exercising. It is a full-body workout that combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements.

“It’s a rock out workout,” Henderson says of the workout that was seen on the first season of the hit show This is Us. “You’re doing a ton of moves and you burn a lot of calories. It’s been so well received.”

Mary Henderson’s five-year-old daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with autism in January. Her mother says it was not a surprise but may have been to outsiders who did not see her quirks or

Hannah Henderson loves animals, especially horses and dogs. She had a birthday party at a farm and rode a horse for hours. Her dogs instantly offer an instant calm. She also enjoys playing with her older sister Zoey, 7.

Henderson researched autism and ways to contribute to the community when she came across Autism Speaks. She calls them a wonderful support to her family in finding a therapist and emotionally through their online community.

“Autism is one part my life. It isn’t my whole life,” explained Henderson. “When she stims I hold her and get her to calm down and breathe. We are going through it together. As much as my husband contributes, it’s her and I. I’m the one who can calm her down. Embrace what makes them different. Different is special.”

Henderson, a part-time fitness instructor, approached Aimee Sala, owner of Aim High Studio and they brainstormed ways they could do something to benefit Autism Speaks.

“My passion is to encourage others to exercise compassion for others and for themselves,” said Sala, of Aim High Studio which hold events to benefit the community on a monthly basis. “I think there is beautiful correlation of wanting to be healthy, fit and serving your community.