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Jessica Cox

Jessica Cox

Who Is Jessica Cox?

Jessica was born without arms, in 1983 in Sierra Vista, Arizona. She has made achievements with her feet that most people only dream of. Now she shares her story with people around the world.

She has learned to live her life with her feet. With the support of her parents and family, Jessica became confident in herself as an adult and continued to explore the world with her feet.

As a child, Jessica studied dance in her home town, and continued dancing for 14 years.

She met a Taekwondo instructor named Jim Cunningham who told her that she would be more than physically able to learn Taekwondo, and that only her attitude could hold her back. At the age of 14, Jessica earned her first Black Belt in the International Taekwondo Federation.

After graduating from high school, Jessica attended the University of Arizona where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology.

During college, Jessica found an ATA (American Taekwondo Association) Martial Arts club and resumed training in the sport of Taekwondo. Even though Jessica already had one black belt in a different style, she had to relearn all of the color belt material. The instructors created a curriculum that would be accessible to any future armless students. Jessica then became the first armless person to earn a black belt in the ATA.

Jessica’s most famous accomplishment was learning how to fly. It took three states, four airplanes, two flight instructors and a discouraging year to find the right aircraft: a 1946 415C Ercoupe Airplane. She received the Guinness World Record for being the first person certified to fly an airplane with only their feet.

Jessica now works as a motivational speaker. She travels the world sharing her story and encouraging people to be creative and innovative with the slogan "Think outside the shoe".

Awards & Accolades

  • Plane and Pilot Magazine’s 10 Best Pilots, 2013
  • Inspiration Award for Women: Most Aspirational, 2012 USA; Inspiration International, 2013 UK
  • Guinness World Record: The First Armless Person in the World Ever to Have Obtained a Pilot’s License, 2011
  • AOPA LIVE Pilots Choice Award 2010: Most Watched Female Aviator
  • Published in Ripley’s Believe It or Not, 2009
Presentation summary Thinking Outside the Shoe ©
Thinking Outside the Shoe ©

As a person who has never viewed herself as a victim of her condition, Jessica shares in her speech humorous stories of struggle and success living in a "two-handed"" world. She provides critical insight on how best to approach a challenge, redefining the concept of innovative thinking. She helps people reconnect with their own inner strengths and aptitudes. Jessica believes in combining creativity, desire, persistence, and fearlessness; with them, nothing is impossible. In her presentation, she will dig deep into her experiences living armless in a two-handed world and share how these four elements helped her achieve the seemingly impossible.

Disarm Your Limits

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong? Like everything was chaos around you, you didn’t have the support you wish you had, and your motivation to keep going was slipping through your fingers? If this sounds familiar, then you know how it feels to be "disarmed."

In Jessica’s first book, she lays out the tools you need to design your own "formula for flight."" You have the ability to turn the obstacles you face around and use them to your advantage. All you need is the formula for flight. Are you ready to become the pilot in command of you?