“Life is 10% what happens and 90% how we respond,” she says. “To get the most out of our lives, we must be fearless. I identified my greatest fears and walked directly at them. Because of that, I am a pilot in command of my own life.”
Jessica Cox was born without arms due to a rare birth defect became the world’s first licensed armless pilot. Using her feet as most people use their hands, she is able, among other things, to drive an unmodified car with an unrestricted license, a certified diver, type on a keyboard at 25 words per minute, pump her own gas, and put in and remove her contact lenses. At the age of 10, Cox began training in taekwondo at a school in her home town of Sierra Vista and earned her black belt at 14.
Jessica grew up using prosthetic arms which she had to practice with countless hours of therapy after school. Although she could carry things with prosthetic limbs, she never connected with them and preferred doing everything with her feet. After 11 years of wearing them, she decided to stop using prosthetic arms and embrace what makes her different.
After graduating from the University of Arizona with a degree in Psychology and Communication. From the challenges she has overcome, she became an inspiration to many. Jessica realized her words and experience are a natural source of encouragement and optimism for many, which gave rise to her motivational speaking business. Around the same time, she decided to pursue flight lessons to overcome her greatest fear: flying. After an arduous three years, Jessica became a certified pilot, earning the title of the first woman to fly an airplane with her feet.
“Desire is 80 percent of success. Persistence means never give up. Never allow your fear to stand in the way of your opportunity.”
“When I fly, I have the greatest feeling of freedom, independence, and power,” said Cox, who controls the throttle with her left foot and the yoke with her right. Today, she has traveled over 20 countries as a motivational speaker teaching her audience, the power of possible thinking to achieve the impossible.
“My message is that disabilities are not limited to physical. They shouldn’t stand in the way of success, there’s no handicap to success.”
Cox published an autobiographical self-help book, Disarm Your Limits order to inspire people to overcome their own challenges through the lessons she has learned in her life. She married Patrick Chamberlain, her former taekwondo instructor IN 2012.
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