It’s really easy to complain. Actually, it’s become the favorite past time for many to pass the blame, and cook up excuses, but Jessica Cox is sure to teach us all a little something about life. You see, she’s not your average pilot, the 32-year-old, was born with a rare non-genetic birth defect that left her without arms, yet she has never let her disability hold her back one bit.
Instead of sulking in misery, or using her disabilities as an excuse to fail, Cox decided to live her life to the fullest and she’s turned every reason to fail – into every reason she needed to succeed. Growing up she’s learned to swim, participated in the girl scouts, modeling, tap dancing and Taekwondo — and at the age of 14, she’d already earned a black belt.
Now she’s even learned how to fly a plane using her feet.
Becoming a pilot wasn’t always a dream for Cox, but after going up in a single engine airplane with a fighter pilot several years ago, she was inspired to overcome her initial fears.”Being up in the air put me on edge, but that quickly went away,” she said. “It still keeps me on edge, which I like.”
In 2008, after extensive training, she earned her Light Sport Pilot Certificate, and in 2011 she nabbed the Guinness World Record for the “First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License.”
Cox has now traveled to 20 countries on six continents to share her inspirational story. She believes anyone can excel, regardless of disability, with encouragement and support.
Not only is Cox the first person to fly a plane without arms, but she also holds the title of the first person without arms to receive a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association.
Cox said that while titles and awards are “the icing on top,” they’re not the driving force behind her career path. She takes pride in knowing that she inspires others to see past physical limitations that people tend to put on themselves.
“I do what I do because I love to do it,” she said “and I don’t give up.”