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Inspiration: First Female Armless Pilot Shares Her Story

Jessica Cox, first female armless pilot shared her story.
Read her story below;
[When I was young] I went to my mom and asked, “Why am I different? I have so many people around me with arms…” From what I saw, I was the only one who didn’t have them.

It was a devastating time—especially for my mom. My parents had no idea I was going to be born with a birth defect. I once went to my church pastor to pray to God that I would have arms, and that was when I was five, because I was not understanding what that meant. It was really a journey in faith and understanding that these things don’t just happen… This difference was really a gift

If you would’ve asked me about getting a pilot’s license before 2005, I’d say you were crazy. After I graduated college, a fighter pilot asked me if I wanted to go up on a flight in a single-engine plane. I always had a fear about being in an airplane, but my father was right beside me then and he jumped in and said, “She’d be happy to do it.”. I took this opportunity to go up on my first flight in a single-engine rather than a big commercial plane I was accustomed to.

And so after that first flight, I knew I wanted to be a pilot and I set out to accomplish that goal. I’ve always been a daredevil—I loved climbing and looking down from new heights. But maybe it was that lack of control you have [when you’re in the air] that scared me. I shortly learned that if you can fly an airplane competently, you can fly it safely even if something does happen, once you’re in the air, you feel that sense of freedom of no limits.  [So now] I make sure that my desire is stronger than my fear…that’s how I can set aside my fear and persevere in the accomplishment of whatever goal I set my heart on..

Most of our limitations are self imposed and come from a narrow mindset. I try to encourage people to change their perspective and enlighten them to think outside the shoe. Think about the last time you used the word “I can’t”. When you say I can’t, we set ourselves up for failure, we start to believe what we say. Persistence means not giving up, it means not using those two words which I’ve tried my best to remove from my vocabulary.

My advice to people living with disabilities is to start with self-love and self-acceptance. Don’t hide yourself from the world because that will limit the quality of your life. Develop self-confidence in your special abilities because there are things that you can offer the world that other people can’t.

This is my normal and I’ve grown up to accept it. I’ve learnt how to embrace my difference , I’ve learnt how to fly an airplane with my feet, it’s time for you think to outside the shoe and see how high you can fly.
Credit: DNG

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