Each of us has abilities and disabilities while only few explore them the right way and excel. Jessica Cox is one such example of someone who is using all her abilities to make a huge difference. This 35-year-old woman was born without arms due to a birth defect but that did not stop her from flying high in the air.
It all started when Jessica was 14 years old and refused to use prosthetic arms. Her parents realized that the strength of her character could take her to places and introduced her to Taekwondo. This boosted her self-confidence and she eventually became the first woman without arms to secure two black belts in the United States. For obvious reasons, she suffered self-esteem issues as people looked at her through a different lens. Instead of worrying of her disabilities, Cox started building on her strengths.
Her determination led her to become the first person in the world to pilot a plane using feet. After three years of vigorous training, she earned her pilot’s certificate on October 10th, 2008, and is qualified to fly a light-sport aircraft to altitudes of 10,000 feet.
“There was a very difficult year in my flight training journey where I felt everyone had given up on this possibility. I pulled up this picture of an aeroplane and put it on the backdrop of my computer. Every morning I spend just a few minutes envisioning what it would be like to fly this aeroplane,” she told Channel NewsAsia.
There’s no limit to Jessica’s abilities. She is a licensed unmodified car driver, can type 25 words per minute on a keyboard and doesn’t need assistance in putting her contact lenses on. She led a life like any other girl, fell in love with her former Taekwondo instructor Patrick and got married in 2012.
There’s never a day in Jessica’s life where she complains of her disability. She believes that by combining fearlessness, creativity, and persistence, nothing is impossible.
“This is who I am, and I don’t need arms to do better because I’ve already done so much with my feet,” she said. She has achievements with her feet most people only dream of. “Think outside the shoe” is the slogan with which Jessica is traveling the world inspiring people to NEVER GIVE UP.
*Sources: Channel NewsAsia