Filipino-American Jessica Cox, who was born with no arms, did not limit herself from mastering some skills and learning to live not just an ordinary but extraordinary life.
What makes her extraordinary? At the age of 10, she began learning taekwondo and earned a black belter rank four years after. At the age of 17, she got a license and learned how to drive using her feet to control the steering wheel.
At the age of 22, she thought of taking flying lessons and received a pilot license three years later. She even received a Guinness World Record for being the first woman to fly an airplane with her feet.
Cox, at the age of 34, was able to do outdoor activities including:
She was also able to master the art of doing daily activities, such as typing 25 words a minute with her toes, tying her shoe lace, brushing her hair, brushing her teeth, putting contact lenses in her eyes, and putting her make-up on, among others.
As for her hobby, she knows how to play the piano.
Cox, who is based in Arizona, said she was able to do anything that she could think of by striving hard and practicing until she mastered the craft.
“I think society often tell people with disabilities that they do not have the capability to do things…but to me, the more you practice something, the better you get at it,” she said.
Cox said that these achievements will not happen without the support of her family.
Cox’s father, 76 years old, is a retired band instructor, while her late mother was a nurse. She has an older brother, 36 years old, and a younger sister, 31 years old. Both are able-bodied.
“As a child, I would ask my mother why God created me this way, and my mother would reply it was because God has a great plan for me,” Cox said.
She admitted that without her “wonderful parents,” she will not be the person she is today.
Currently, she picks up another activity and is now learning to do the tricks of slacklining. It is an activity of balancing yourself or walking on a suspended length of flat webbing. It is similar to tightrope walking.
“I like the challenge of doing something new and figuring it out. And for me, there’s also this extra element of knowing nobody has ever done this without their arms,” Cox said.
Cox is a psychology graduate of the University of Arizona. She is married to Patrick Chamberlain, 32 years old, a former taekwondo instructor and now her manager. They have no children yet.
She got thousands of speaking engagements inspiring people about her disability. She also has written her autobiographical self-help book entitled “Disarm Your Limits,” which has sold about 6,000 copies.
There is also a documentary about Cox’s life entitled “Right Footed,” which was aired in more than 80 countries.
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