#8 ~ Motivation Monday – Interview with Jessie Baldwin

So, if you read my entry on Friday you may have either thought, “Wow, this chick is goofy,” or “She won’t really start interviewing people,” or “I’m glad I wasn’t sitting next to her last time I was at Starbucks,” or all of the above. heh heh

I’m going to follow through with my promise and interview someone each week to discuss his/her bucket list.  I have a few people already lined up and I’m sure I’ll pull a John Quinones and interview unsuspecting coffee bar patrons.  If you or someone you know has accomplished something on their bucket list and would  like to be interviewed, contact me by email at 6feetover.melody@gmail.com – This could get real fun! 😉

Before I start this week’s interview, I want to share a few lines from the devotion I read this morning about taking risks. I found it highly appropriate for today’s blog entry…

From the book Joy Breaks

Risky Living by Patsy Clairmont

That’s the problem with risks: some are worth taking, some aren’t. Some of the risks I’ve taken that turned out poorly have been the greatest teachers for making good future choices. And some sure-shot risks have been long-term detrimental. Hmm, this is complex. Bad could be good, good could be miserable, bad could be disabling, and good could turn out great. I guess that’s why it’s called a risk.

I’m really not one to dive headlong into life, but I don’t want to miss the wave and be left high and dry on the shore.”


Bucket List [buhk-it list] – noun

  • a wish list of things to do before one  “kicks the bucket.”


Melody: Tell us a little about yourself.

Jessie: My name is Jessie Baldwin, I am 34 years old, and I am a family photographer.  I have been married for 14 years to Rick and we have two children, Violet (9), and Riley (7).  I’ve lived in Las Vegas most of my life and graduated from Bonanza High School. My favorite teacher there was Ms. Lukens.  I have a degree in Elementary Education from UNLV and used to be a 4th grade teacher. My favorite books are the Harry Potter series and I have read each of the books at least 5 times.  I can quote “The Princess Bride” practically verbatim, beginning to end. When I was 14, I was a news anchor for Channel 8 as part of their short-lived youth “8-Team”. I was once kissed on the cheek by Mark McGrath.  I met my husband at church camp. My first car was a 1972 VW Super Beetle. It was Orange and I called it “The Great Pumpkin.” I love math. I have always wanted to be on The Amazing Race.  My business name “Speckled Bird Art” was inspired by one of my favorite bands, The Choir. I had a homebirth with my son and it was one of the most empowering experiences of my life. I love making lists, and I especially love crossing things off my lists.

Melody: Wow, that’s all amazing, but what really gets me….you love math? Fascinating!! What’s one huge thing you’ve checked off your bucket list?

Jessie: Just recently my sister and I ran a full marathon in Walt Disney World with Team in Training.

Melody: I’m exhausted just thinking of it. When did this become a goal of yours?

Jessie: We decided to do it last August. A friend of our family had his son diagnosed with Leukemia and I really wanted to do something to help out in some small way. Through raising the money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and training to do something I would have never thought in my life was possible, I felt that I was making a difference.

Melody: What an absolutely worthy cause! Obviously, helping others was motivation enough, but why else do you think reaching this goal was so important to you?

Jessie: I am not a runner by any means, so running something as huge as a marathon was an insane thought. Why no start out like a normalperson with, say a 5K or a 10K? If you know me, however, you know that although I may look ordinary, I am not your average person. I am always dreaming up these wild and crazy ideas! So I couldn’t do just a short race… It had to be something completely foreign, completely unattainable in my mind. If I thought the goal was in any way reachable, then it wasn’t a challenge for me. I had to take myself COMPLETELY out of my comfort zone so I could watch myself achieve something I had always thought impossible. Also, the medals you get for finishing the full marathon at Walt Disney World were pretty fantastic. For the half, you get a Donald Duck medal and for the full you get Mickey Mouse. I’m not gonna lie – I am on Team Mickey. If I was going to run that far, I wanted to wear a golden Mickey head around my neck!

Melody: Did you think you wouldn’t be able to reach this goal and did you ever want to give up?

Jessie: Little things would come up during training that made me worry about finishing the race… minor injuries would slow us down, and of course the thought of running for so long and for such a distance was very scary for me. Seriously, the last time I ran before this training was when I was in 8th grade and I had to run the mile in P.E.! ONE MILE. And it was PAINFUL. Each week as we trained, the longer distances would make me very nervous. And each week I would casually suggest to my sister maybe giving up, or only running the half, or just taking it easy. But each week we pressed on. During the race I was never worried about finishing. I knew once I crossed the start line there was no other option.

Melody: I completely understand. I took P.E. in Summer school two years in a row in high school so that I WOULDN’T have to take it all year long! Without a doubt, this was something totally outside of your comfort zone. What kept you going?

Jessie: I knew that no matter how much the training hurt or how tired I was, it was nothing compared to having to endure chemotherapy, radiation, and weekly spinal taps at eleven years old. Even doing our marathon, which took me nearly 7 hours, was but a drop in the bucket to what people with severe illnesses like cancer deal with on a daily basis. Also, having the support of my sister was HUGE. Knowing she was there, she was keeping me accountable and keeping me company, made it an amazing bonding experience for both of us. When one of us was down, the other would lift us up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 sums it up pretty well:

9  Two are better than one,
because they have a good return for their work:
10  If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!
11  Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?
12  Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Having a partner I can count on is key to a successful outcome for me.  🙂

Melody: So true! What is one thing on your bucket list you still have yet to accomplish?

Jessie: I have a lot of things on my list that have not been achieved just yet – I want to see the Aurora Borealis in person someday, I want to publish a book, and I want to fill my passport with stamps from the places I have been. I am excited that this last goal is one that I am working toward. Last year I got a chance to photograph a family’s international adoption in India and next month I will be traveling to Ethiopia and Uganda to photograph another adoption.

Melody: That’s incredible, Jessie!! I can’t wait to hear more about that as it unfolds! Leave us with one last thing… What’s your favorite inspirational quote?

Jessie: It comes from Marianne Williamson and it was made famous most recently for its use in the movie “Akeelah and the Bee”…

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

Now, if that isn’t motivating, I don’t know what is! Let Jessie’s  story be inspiring to you….what’s on your bucket list?

©2010 Melody G. Fritchley


  1. Danielle said


    What a great idea! I love Jessie’s quote its a favorite of mine as well. It’s actually the quote that I duct taped to the inside of my husbands lunch pail and wallet as we went through the police academy. Everytime we hear it we smile, because we now know the depth of the power he has within him to accomplish his goals in life. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Tiffany said

    And to think…. she was my first friend when I moved to Las Vegas in 1st grade!!!! Jess is an awesome person! What a great interview… I can’t wait to read more!

  3. Kristin said

    What an incredible accomplishment! Such a fab source of inspiration! I trained for a marathon in DC several years back but was derailed by the snipers. I would so love to try again, but I have bum knees that won’t let me. Maybe I can get my hubs to do it so I can at least cheer someone on. Ah ha

  4. Tricia said

    Wow! Great interview! Man, I need to get my booty in gear! I feel I’ve done nothing! I’m not interview worthy after that!! Love the quotes and scripture! Can’t wait for the next blog!

  5. Sharon said

    That’s my friend Jess. Wonderful wife, mother and most talented photographer.
    You keep on going!

  6. Rachael said

    Thanks for the visit today! Awesome blog you have here, by the way!

    This interview was exactly what I needed to read today–I am training for a Half-Marathon in May. It’s not a marathon yet…but if I can do the 13.1 miles, I want to try the whole enchilada, Marine Corp Marathon in November!!!!

    • Melody said

      YOU CAN DO IT, Rachael!!! Be sure to let me know how it goes!


  7. Mari said

    Jessie is inspiring! I love the verses she quoted too!

  8. Heather Fair said

    Wow…Jessie I remember you from High School…and you to like Melody are just absolutely amazing…and done amazing things in your life…I might be jealous if I weren’t so inspired…way to go!

    thanks Mel for sharing her amazing story!


  9. Rebekah said

    Great person to start with Mel. Jessie is an intelligent, creative and beautiful woman.

  10. Roz said

    What an amazing interview! Talking about making me want to get up and “go for the gold”.
    Jessie – you are truly an inspiration to all of us reading and I am sure many in your life!
    Mel – thank you for sharing this with us! I am ready to conquer the world now!

  11. Courtney said

    Love knowing such amazing women. 🙂

  12. Melissa B. said

    Interesting…thanks so much for sharing! SITS sent me by, and I’m glad they did…

    After the Storm

  13. jess said

    Thanks so much, Melody, for letting me be a part of your blog! It was an honor to be chosen for an interview! Thank you, everyone, for your kind comments! ♥

  14. I LOVE that you’re doing these interviews!
    This interview really hits home for me. I also, have run a marathon. My running partner was my lifelong best friend. Much like Jessie, it was a stretch for both of us, we had to become runners. I have been slowly starting my training again (major emphasis on SLOWLY), but reading Jessie’s story helps me recall my own first experience, which helps motivate me. Thank you Melody and Jessie for the inspiration!

  15. Shana said

    Team in Training is definitely a great organization. I trained with them for a half marathon and it was the most amazing experience.

    I love the interview idea also! I love picking other people’s brains!

  16. Wow! What a great interview! Jessie seems like such an amazing gal. Uh jealous – she got kissed by Mark McGrath?

  17. Crystal said

    Very inspirational! LOVE your blog!

  18. What a great achievement!

    Long before the movie, a good friend of mine and I had our “list of things we want to do before we die” (bucket list is so much simpler) – like make it to all 7 continents and all 50 states, bungee jump, sky dive, etc. I keep chipping away at that first one (probably my favorite), but now she’s given me all new ideas to add to it! Aurora Borealis? How could I have missed that in my first run!

  19. Kathryn said

    “I’ve never been there, but I always hear such wonderful things. Wonderful post!

    Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting!! 🙂 You have a very cute blog!

  20. Meloday, thank you for the visit and sweet comment. You are smart…stay away from PB!! I love your blog.


  21. Roni Davis said

    Truly inspirational…you two ladies have certainly got me thinking. Right now I am consumed with finding a job, but once I do look out!

  22. tattytiara said

    That was really great. I love how she described her motivation for going for a big marathon right out of the gate and not working her way up through smaller ones.

  23. This is a delightful interview and both of you are so inspiring. Thank you so much!

  24. Date Girl said

    I love your blog idea-this is great! I need to read through and check out what’s on your bucket list. I need to go back and update mine. I’ve got a few on there I hope to cross off soon. Like Jessie, I definitely want to see the Northern Lights. I also want to swim with dolphins (hope to do that on my honeymoon next year!). Great blog, and thanks for stopping by mine fellow sitsta!

  25. LeighAnne said

    Wonderful interview and very inspirational! I recently ran a half and have had it in my head that a full marathon would be too much! Maybe I should try!

  26. ALE518 said

    Great interview…congrats to Jessie on the marathon! Can’t wait to read the next one… 😉

  27. […] This is Melody. She is rad! She’s an amazing wife and mom, and super savvy business lady. Right now she’s in the process of a really cool business/personal venture that tops her “bucket list”, and she is blogging her way through the adventure. The blog is entertaining and funny, with some good bits of advice and thought provoking quotations thrown in the mix. And she even interviewed me a couple of weeks ago! You can check out that post RIGHT HERE. […]

  28. Anna said

    I, like you, remember the 1 mile run in 8th grade, and how I barely finished. LOL. However, while reading your story, I thought about all the things I have written off because I don’t think I do them well enough. Now, while feeling inspired by your story, & knowing that you completed a marathon without being a natural born runner, I will put down my Ghirardelli Mint Squares & make a choice to do one thing I didn’t think I could do. Thank you for the encouragement!

  29. […] You should contact Jessie when you’re ready to train for the marathon. She was my first interview for Motivation Monday […]

  30. seo said

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