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Jessica Cox An Armless Pilot And An Amazing Inspiration
Jessica Cox ~ Lessons In Courage And Triumph
What an inspirational young lady she is!
Once in a lifetime someone comes along...
In my lifetime, one of the most inspirational people I have ever heard of is an armless pilot from Tucson, Arizona named Jessica Cox. This amazing young lady was born in 1983, making her about 30 years old. She has achieved so many amazing things in such a short lifetime so far, and she has done it all in spite of being born with no arms.
Whenever I begin to think to myself "I can't do that"... or that doing something is like "a one in a million shot"... like becoming an author, for example, I take a look at an inspirational person like Jessica Cox and think maybe I CAN do this after all.
Jessica Cox was born in 1983 in Sierra Vista, Arizona and is of Filipino descent. She took dance lessons for the first fourteen years of her life. At first she asked her dance teacher if she could "be in the back." Her dance teacher very wisely answered her with "there is no back." From then on, Jessica learned to believe in herself and in her abilities, instead of looking at any potential disability due to being born without arms.
A lot of her inspiration came from her parents as well, William, a retired band teacher, and Inez, who works in a nursing home and was one of 12 children from a large Filipino family. All 12 children graduated college. Her father, William, was once quoted as saying that sometimes he "can't keep up with her!"
At age 14, Jessica began Taekwondo lessons and after some time earned the status of black belt. After graduating from High School, Jessica attended the University of Arizona where she earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology.
While she was in college, she joined the American Taekwondo Association, and the requirements were somewhat different for a black belt through the ATA. After re-learning some of the material and going through the various other color belts, she then became the first person without arms to earn a black belt in the American Taekwondo Association. Now she is a double black belt in Taekwondo.
Probably her most famous accomplishment was learning how to fly a plane using only her feet, and also becoming certified to do that. It took her traveling to three different states, and attempting to fly four different aircraft, but she did it. Two instructors were used in order for her to learn to fly using only her feet. It took a lot of discouraging time and effort to find just the right airplane to fly, but once she did, she was off.
Jessica now flies a 1946 415C Ercoupe lightweight sport airplane. She received the very first Guinness world record for being the first person certified to fly a plane using only her feet. I've seen pictures of this amazing young lady texting on a cell phone using her toes... I mean, I can barely text using fingers much less TOES. I've also seen pictures of her putting her contact lenses in and putting makeup on using her feet.
On a good day, maybe, if I try enough, I can get by with using one hand to do these things... I cannot imagine the incredible strength of character and courage it takes to learn to do these daily tasks with ones feet, and then to not even blink an eye when doing them.
These things have become second nature for Jessica, very much like they do for the "able-bodied." I don't like that term, because I believe that this amazing young lady is just as "able-bodied" as anyone else out there, maybe even more so than some. She has proven this time and time again.
Not only does she dance, surf, drive a car, play the piano, do Taekwondo and fly an airplane, she is also a certified scuba diver. Someone once asked her if there's anything else she still dreams of doing... her answer? She said maybe she'd like to try skydiving and para-sailing sometime. I have a feeling if she does get the chance to do those things, she will be successful at them. In fact, I would even venture to say that this remarkable lady can do anything she puts her mind to, bar nothing.
In Jessica's latest news, she is now engaged to be married. She is engaged to one of her Taekwondo instructors, who was quoted as saying that she is "amazing" and "what the heck, I'm taking her to dinner!" The lucky young man is Patrick Chamberlain, and they've been engaged since last May.
Today, Jessica is also an accomplished motivational speaker who regularly gives speeches to business groups and others who are in need of inspiration. And isn't that all of us at some point in our lives? She has said it hasn't always been easy. At times, she may have had the thought "I wish I had arms" but those thoughts are usually short term fleeting ones. She has said that she came to the point of total acceptance in High School. From the things she has achieved since then, I don't think she's ever looked back.
Jessica's Inspirational Tips For Success ~
Jessica has given some tips for success. The first one is to be accepting of the person you are. Once you've done this, believe in yourself, that you are complete just as you are, and that you can do anything. Another word of advice from Jessica is to have a strong faith in God. Believe that when times get tough, your faith is what will pull you through and give you strength. She also believes in accepting the challenges that you've been given in life and do your best to overcome them. And she believes in encouraging children, letting them know that there are no limits to what they can achieve, no matter what challenges they have in their life. And lastly, always go forward in life without fear.
If there is one person who has followed all of these tips, it is Jessica. She is such an amazing and inspirational person, I know she certainly has inspired me.