When in Manila, I’m sure each and everyone of us has come up with a bucket list of things we want to do. Unfortunately, there are times when we feel we won’t be able to accomplish everything on that list for a myriad of reasons, but usually the excuse is simply, “I can’t”. Well, continue to read on because once you’re done with this article, I assure you that you will have no excuse whatsoever to not be able to pursue the things you want to do.
Dear readers, meet Jessica Cox.
According to several articles,
Jessica was born without arms but decided, in 2008, that she wanted to fly. She earned her Sports Pilot certificate after three years of training, and was named the first woman to pilot an aircraft using only her feet.
“My right foot is on the yoke, and my left foot is on the throttle. I use both feet, and I don’t have special equipment. I just fly the plane,” she said.
She describes the experience of flying as freeing.
“It’s a big challenge,” she confessed, “but once you’re in the air it’s so empowering.”
Despite her disability, Jessica enjoys gymnastics and swimming, and holds a double black belt in taekwondo. Cox also drives her own car and is a certified scuba diver. She later learned to surf while she was in Hawaii She is also an accomplished motivational speaker.
“If I was born with those two arms, I don’t think I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish as much as I have as well as meet and go all over the world as much as I have,” she said.
“It was a long process. It didn’t happen overnight. I went through a lot of times when I said I wished I had arms or I wished that things were different. But I came to the point of acceptance right at the beginning of high school. And I said you know what, this is my life and I choose to be grateful for what I have and I choose to wish for more.
“When I look at myself in the mirror, I see myself as complete… because this is my life and I’ve been able to do so many things because I’ve been blessed with the family I’ve been given with.”
She then gave these tips to achieve success:
- Learn to accept yourself. Once acceptance is reached, you see yourself as complete. You move forward in believing that you can do anything.
- Have faith in God. When it comes down to those difficult moments, it’s your faith that shines through and gives you strength.
- Accept whatever challenge you are given and overcome it.
- Encourage others, especially your children, to do the same. Believe in them and let them know that there are no limits out there.
- Don’t give in to fear. Fear stands for False Evidence that Appears Real.
Jessica Cox: ARMLESS Filipino-American pilot and Guinness World record holder