Author Archives: Anne Long

About Anne Long

Anne Long is a writer, born and raised in Harrisburg, and student at Shippensburg University set to graduate this winter with a Bachelors degree in English. In addition to writing, she's an avid reader, runner, gym-goer, and coffee addict. You can read more of her work on her blog: alonglifesite.wordpress.com and you can follow her on Facebook at Anne Long - Writer and Blogger and Twitter and Instagram @anne.eliz.long.

Where are CD grads now? – Greg St. Clair Jr.

By Anne Long
For Linglestown Gazette

Five years after his graduation from Central Dauphin High School in 2013, Greg St. Clair Jr. has
landed in the National Football League with an internship as a videographer for the Baltimore Ravens.

A lifelong fan, St. Clair grew up going to Ravens games with his father, a season ticket holder
since 1997.

It’s no surprise then that St. Clair was ecstatic when he received word that the Ravens had awarded him the internship.

“I was elated. I was so excited. I couldn’t believe it.”

And, he’s fulfilling a childhood dream: to be surrounded by the players he loves and the sport he loves.

“It’s one of my favorite things in this life. I just love all of it: the camaraderie, the strategy, the pageantry … . My first day, I walked into lunch with the production team, and I almost ran into Joe Flacco getting a glass of milk.”

When he’s not bumping elbows with players, he’s shooting and editing footage for the team’s use. Some days he’s out on the practice field with the production crew filming the practices, and then tagging the team members, opponents, and editing the film to help with performance and strategy. Other days he’s editing two of the Ravens TV news segments: Final Drive and Mail Bag.

Hard work plays key role

But getting the opportunity to work with the Ravens was not something that St. Clair stumbled upon. No. In the five years after he graduated Central Dauphin, St. Clair has worked hard and
overcome challenges to follow his dreams.

He attended Stevenson University – a small private school in Maryland – where he majored in accounting. At the time, it was his goal to work for one of the big four accounting firms in the
world. He even interned at Ernst & Young the summer before his senior year of college.

But, St. Clair cherished a love for film and picked up a minor in his sophomore year, hoping to incorporate it into his accounting.

“Once the minor came into play, I figured if I was going to have a focus in the accounting world, I could audit stuff for film companies,” said St. Clair.

Even then, he was losing his original zeal for the accounting life. And, once he completed his internship, he was certain that accounting wasn’t for him.

“It wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing.”

He graduated college wanting nothing to do with his major and wanting to focus on the film
industry.

Doing his own thing paved path to NFL gig

“I didn’t want to be an accountant so badly, the only way I could defer it was doing my own
thing,” said St. Clair.

Moving back to central Pennsylvania, St. Clair started his own videography company, PhantomLand Media, and began to pick up weddings, real estate work, and did some promotion for the Central Dauphin High School Drumline while working as an instructor. He also became a certified drone pilot.

“The motivation for the work I do now is because I just don’t want to have to go back [to accounting],” said St. Clair.

With such an incredible work ethic and desire to take every opportunity, it’s no wonder that others started to recognize St. Clair for his talents.

He ended up landing an internship with NFL films, which got him into the sports film industry and had influence in getting this opportunity with the Ravens. His internship coordinator, Dan
Haessler, knew Jay O’Brien, the vice president of broadcasting with the Ravens, and sent him emails on St. Clair’s behalf, knowing that he would be a good fit for his team.

Tough decision pays off

During that time, however, St. Clair had just accepted a job with Driven Media Group, an
advertising agency in the auto industry. In fact, the day St. Clair accepted the job with Driven
Media, he got a message from the Ravens inviting him to apply for the broadcasting internship.

One can imagine this would be a tough decision, but for St. Clair, it was easy. He applied.

“Why not?” he asked. “It’s another opportunity to get back into what I want to be doing, which is the film industry of football.”

Interviewing, however, didn’t go as he thought.

The Ravens planned out an entire morning for him. St. Clair met the production team and Jay O’Brien, and then they had him edit a news segment. After lunch, the plan was to finish up
editing and meet some more people on the crew. However, plans changed. Instead, O’Brien said he would take a look at what St. Clair had done so far and then take him on a tour around the stadium. They finished the day early, and St. Clair left feeling as if he had blown the interview.

He followed up with the Ravens later, and the rest, as we know, is history. St. Clair quit his job with Driven Media and is now interning full-time with the Ravens.

With football season in full swing, he’s hoping to receive more responsibilities, and the future is full of opportunity.

St. Clair has the opportunity to stay on another year as an intern with the Ravens, but after that he’s not sure what he might be doing.

“Finding another job in sports doing something similar, hopefully,” he said.

In the meantime, St. Clair is still running his own videography company, PhantomLand Media.

Check out Greg’s work

You can find his work with the Ravens on their website. And, you can find his videography work at here, on Facebook and YouTube at PhantomLand Media, and on Instagram @phantomlandmedia.
____
Photo: Greg St. Clair Jr. is pictured with his fiancee.

 

 

How to get happy & healthy today in Central PA

By Anne Long
For Linglestown Gazette

We all want to be the best version of ourselves: happy and healthy. But, we might not know where to start making the change, especially if we’ve been stuck in a cycle of eating out, snacking on too many tasty treats, and not taking care of ourselves. It’s easier than you think, though!

First, it’s deciding that you want to make a change. Then, it’s the food. After that comes the exercise. It’s really that simple, but it takes some work.

If you’re still unsure, let me give you some tips and resources to help you get healthy, today!

FOOD

Many people are surprised to find that exercise, while it does help, only counts for a small portion of health. The majority of what determines how healthy we are is the food we put in our bodies. This is also the hardest aspect of health to change. That’s why, when we make a resolution to be healthy, we should have a plan of attack in terms of diet.

The best thing to do is to eat clean – meaning food with a few, simple ingredients. These are whole foods, fresh from farm to table, and meals made exactly how you want it to be, by your own hands without any additives. This can be hard to stick to, especially when there are so many tasty treats calling your name at the grocery store.

Here are some local and quick resources that will make it easier to stick to that happy and healthy grocery list.

Farmer’s Markets


Strites’ Orchard is a great place to get local, fresh produce. You can even bring the family to help gather it! The orchard offers a “U-Pick” schedule where you and whomever can come and pick some of the in-season produce they offer. For a bigger selection, just pop into the store and bakery. More often than not, they will have fresh fruit and vegetables at a cheaper price than the grocery store. And, it’s a good way to support local farmers and operations.

They’re located at 1000 Strites Road Harrisburg, Pa 17111 and are open Mon-Fri: 8am – 7pm / Sat: 8am – 5pm / Sunday: 11am – 4pm.

Health Food Store

The Healthy Grocer located in Camp Hill has so many options that will satisfy all cravings and desires! Inside, products are certified organic, non-GMO, and tailored to fit your diet and health goals.

There’s the Healthy Deli – where you can get wraps, sandwiches, and smoothies made to order. Right next to it is a cold case with ready-to-eat, grab-and-go dinners, dips, sides, salads and sandwiches. Their bakery selection sports sweet treats with only organic and natural ingredients – making them a healthier take on your traditional desserts.

They also have two aisles dedicated to vitamins and supplements that help support deficiencies. Whether you need some more Iron or Vitamin D supplements, a multi-vitamin, protein powder, superfood powders, or hormonal therapies, they have them. Just to the left of the supplements is a small, select section of organic produce from local farmers. This takes you toward the back where they have bulk bins for days. They even have a gluten-free baking aisle!

I come here for all things vegan and specialty – either when I’m in a pinch, or just want to order a smoothie.

The Healthy Grocer is located at 3800 Trindle Road Camp Hill, PA 17011and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 8pm, Saturday 9am to 6pm, and Sunday 11am to 5pm.

Pinterest, Pinterest, Pinterest

When I first started changing the way that I was eating, I quickly realized that healthy options weren’t always available. That meant that when I was looking for my next meal, it would most likely have to come from my own hands. The thought of cooking was daunting, especially considering how complicated recipes could be. Thankfully, though, there’s Pinterest!

This social media app uses pictures to represent all kinds of products, blog posts, websites, etc. When you click on a “pin” you get taken to the website where the pin is linked to, if it is linked to one. This was invaluable for when I was looking for simple, easy recipes. There are so many!

All you have to type into the search bar is “easy healthy recipe”. Pinterest then finds pins that match your search and even offers more keywords to help you narrow down your results.

Using these recipes I found, I was able to get better at cooking and trying my hands at recipes in the kitchen. My family even got involved; they loved having someone cook for them. Since then, we’ve slowly been making healthier meal choices.

Meal Plans

If finding recipes and trying to decide what’s healthy and what’s not is too stressful for you, there are eBooks and programs out there that often come with shopping guides and meal plans to help you kick start a health journey.

I only recently started experimenting with my diet beyond just being vegan. After finding inspiration from some vegans on YouTube and how they were eating, I decided to try them. I began with adopting a high carb, low fat diet, using HighCarbHannah’s eBook Lean and Clean. Then, I experimented with a more balanced diet, using KateFruitFlower’s eBook Freedom Food. Both of these eBooks came with shopping lists and day-by-day meal plans and recipes to use. (I actually reviewed Freedom Food on my blog – alonglifesite.)

While I experienced different physical results on the meal plans, I found that not having to think about choosing or planning my next meal and meal prepping was incredibly relaxing for my mind. Plus, following a plan made it easier to eat clean and healthy because that’s all that I would buy at the grocery store. And, all the recipes were delicious – if they weren’t I didn’t make them again.

Final Tips:

  • Before you decide to change anything about your diet, do your research and then stick to
    your decision.
  • Stick to the grocery list you make and don’t deviate from it.
  • Give yourself a short timeline to start with: two to three weeks. After that, try a month or two. It takes about 21 days for habits to start forming and results to show.

EXERCISE & FITNESS

Once you tackle the kitchen, it’s time to get moving. I know that a lot of people complain about exercise. They just can’t find the motivation, or they hate running, or it’s too hot outside. But, that’s not an excuse. Changing requires discipline, and there are so many forms of exercise that there has to be one that appeals to you.

Fitness Classes

Another way to jumpstart your health and wellness journey is to exercise. And, exercise doesn’t always mean going to the gym, or playing a sport, or running. It could mean attending fitness classes.

Over the winter, at WebpageFX, there would be a boxing class run by a Thrive Fit Co. trainer. These classes got me moving in a different way than running did, and I got to try out some new exercise that I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. Plus, it was a free trial. Some gyms offer similar deals. This also includes yoga studios, if that’s more your thing.

Thrive Fit Co. is a boxing, group fitness, and bootcamp fitness company that will soon be opening a studio in Harrisburg.

Running Programs (C25K)

If you’re looking to get into running but aren’t sure where to start, I would highly recommend this app! C25K stands for “Couch to 5k” and it’s a running program that uses interval training three days a week to help you work up to running a 5k (3.1 miles; roughly 30 minutes straight). The app provides a warm-up walk period, run period, and cool down period, while signaling with sound and voice commands when you should start and stop. It’s extremely user-friendly and it instilled a goal and sense of accomplishment in me after each workout was completed. Plus, it’s free.

I loved it so much, that I went on to the next progression: 10k Trainer, which does the same thing except it works you up to running a 10k (6.2 miles; roughly 60 minutes straight).

YouTube

Free workouts from high intensity interval training (HIIT), weight-lifting, Pilates, circuit training, to yoga … if it’s fitness, it’s on YouTube. My favorite channels are Yoga by Adriene and MadFit. Using the videos, you can watch and then write down the workouts to do yourself. Or, if you don’t want to do exactly what they are, then you can write down your favorite exercises to make a program that’s customized to your interests and goals.

Public Places and Spaces

Once you have your method of exercise picked out, it’s time to find a place to do it. Whether it’s walking or running, you have plenty of options to choose from.

Parks

I like going to parks to get out in nature, especially when I’ve found I’ve circled my neighborhood one too many times.

Wildwood Nature Center in Harrisburg is about a 3.1 mile loop of Wildwood Lake. It’s where my mom and I like to do long, hilly walks. In the winter and spring, my dad and I would come and do a running loop along the boardwalks. He also likes the lakeside trails for running. And, we’re not the only ones. Many runners, walkers, and bikers are out here with us, getting their exercise in.

Boyd Big Tree Preserve (pictured) with its iconic view from the electric lines is a great place for a hike. Just over Blue Mountain Parkway, this state park has 12 miles of hiking trails. You can combine trails for a longer hike, or just stick to the shorter ones if you like.

Riverfront Park along Front Street in Harrisburg is also a great place to find fitness folks. Sure, there are many people walking their dogs, going for a jog, and biking; but there’s also fitness stations as you get closer to Uptown. The steps down to the river also let your take a canoe or kayak out for a spin. And, the trail goes all the way down to Phoenix Park, over the old railroad. But, if you don’t want to go too far, stop at City Island and take a swing at the batting cages or go for a round of mini golf. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved. And you can’t beat the view from the river.

Final Tips:

  • Start slow. Don’t do more than your body is ready for.
  • Do workouts that you love. You don’t want to feel like you’re forcing yourself to
    workout. The best way to stick to an exercise routine is to enjoy it.
  • Don’t expect immediate results. You’re not going to see changes overnight. They need
    time, like habits, to develop.

SUPPORT SYSTEMS

You can make changes on your own, but you have a better chance of sticking to a plan when you get others involved and have their support.

Get the Family Involved

Unless you want it to be, changing your diet and exercise doesn’t have to be lonely. Now, don’t force it on your loved ones, but ask them if they would like to cook with you, try a new recipe for dinner, go on a hike or a walk, or go for a run with you. Not only will you be changing yourself for the better, you’ll have someone there to hold you accountable and – possibly – make a lifestyle change, too.

Facebook Communities

For running, food, and fitness, there are thousands of Facebook groups and communities to join. Some are local, others are national, but they all fill the support you might be lacking from the people in your life. Not everyone wants to change or understands why others might want to
change. The important thing is to not let their misunderstanding affect your decision to improve your health and wellness. Eventually, they will come around. But, until they do, there are others
far and wide there to push and motivate you. You only have to reach out.

From there, you may discover running groups, or free fitness classes that are offered in your
community. I know that for the summer, there was free yoga outside Broad Street Market in
Harrisburg on Saturday mornings. Because I followed Broad Street Market on Facebook, they let me know when the events were happening.

IN THE END…

No matter how many resources and tips I give you or that you find, the ONLY way to achieve
your health goals is through YOU. To get the results, you have to put in the time and the effort.

So, my last tip for you is to SCHEDULE.

Sit down and schedule time to go out and buy only the healthy groceries on your list (only what’s on the list).

Schedule time to meal prep if you’re busy during the week. Plan out your meals and write them
down.

Schedule time to work out – build a run, walk, hike, or gym session into your days.

Finally, schedule time to give yourself all the love and appreciation you deserve.

Now, get out and start living your happiest, healthiest life!

10 summer activities that cost almost nothing

By Anne Long
For Linglestown Gazette

The weather is warmer, the sun is back in the sky, and the temperatures are rising. It is the most relaxing and refreshing time of the year: SUMMER!

Now, not only is the sun out and myself with it; but it’s also around longer, adding hours onto our days. With this seemingly “extra” time, you might not know how to spend it and really take advantage of the nice weather; you might even think it costs too much money to really have fun. But that shouldn’t deter you from getting out of the house. It’s time to get outside and soak up some necessary Vitamin D! And, you’d be surprised about how much you time you can spend without spending too much cash.

#1 … Cleaning Out

If you must stay inside, whether from rain or stormy weather, you can still get moving and relax with cleaning out. Make it a scavenger hunt or a game with your family! See who can recycle, donate, or trash the most unused and discarded items. The one with the most gets to choose a treat or place for dinner that night. Or, if you don’t just want to get rid of your extra things, hold a rummage or yard sale. With less clutter in the home, not only will everything be clean, but your mind will be less cluttered as well.

The same works for outside! A fresh look does wonders for peace of mind. Whether it’s the garden shed, the garage, or the garden, the outside of your house could use a facelift after a long winter and turbulent spring. Do your flowers and cluttered spaces a favor by putting in a few hours to make them look as good as the weather feels.

#2 … Gardening

If you don’t have a garden to clean up, you should get a garden, and fill it with whatever plants you want. You can plant annual flowers that only require a couple seeds and a lot of love. Walking around my neighborhood, and even in the city, I see all different kinds: tulips, hyacinths, pansies, daffodils, daylilies, and lavender.

 

#3 … Walking or Jogging

My mother and I love to take walks when the weather’s nice, and I usually walk to work all the time. You get to see and smell all the fragrances from all the flowers and take in the beautiful clear skies and blossoming trees.

Taking a walk or light jog not only gets you working off some of the comfort food eaten during
the winter, but it gets your moving and also lets you see the world in a new way. Everything seems to be in bloom and rejuvenated, even the people you see along the way.

Summer and sunshine just makes everyone smile.

#4 … Hiking

Nothing gets you more in touch with nature or outdoors for a prolonged period of time than hiking. If you live in Central Pennsylvania, you’re lucky. A quick search for nearby trails is only a web search away. Or, even if you don’t have a mountain range close by you, there are parks and nature centers dedicated to celebrating the outdoors and all its beauty, where you can spend an hour or two.

My favorites in Harrisburg are Boyd Big Tree Preserve Conservation Area, just over the mountain in Fishing Creek, and Wildwood Nature Center, located just off Cameron Street and Industrial Drive.

#5 … Running a Race

If walking or hiking is too slow for you, there are plenty of charity or fun 5ks, 10ks, and half marathons to take part in. It’s a great way to bond with a community of runners and people who just like to enjoy moving their bodies outside. Plus, it’s something you can do with the entire family, regardless of fitness level. One of my favorites is the Color Run.

#6 … Backyard Reading

If you still don’t feel like moving, take your leisure activities to the backyard. There’s nothing like a good afternoon spent in the sun reading a book. You can take your favorite chair or just set out a blanket/towel. It’s a great opportunity to get a soft tan without the crowding of the pool or the beach.

 

#7 … Have a Picnic

Whether it’s for lunch or dinner, your family will appreciate a fresh change from the normal take out or formal evening dining scene. Picnics are so easy to put together as well! Just pack a cooler of your favorite drinks or bottles of water; pick up some of your favorite snacks: chips, pretzels, granola bars, veggies, fruit; and make sandwiches or salads for the main dish.

#8 … Chalk

Another great family activity, no matter how old you are, is chalk! Go beyond the hopscotch design and allow yourself to get creative. See how many colors and stories you can create before the rain showers come and wipe them away.

#9 … Car Wash

If cooling down instead of working up a sweat is something you would rather do, then hook up the hose and get out the sponges. Washing your car or vehicle in the driveway saves you money and gives you something to pass the hot daytime hours. And, in the end, you have a shiny vehicle looking like it just drove off the lot.

#10 … Festivals and Markets

There are so many springtime festivals full of fresh flowers, fruits, crafts, vegetables, and other creations. Flea markets are moving outside, like the Harrisburg (HBG Flea), which is the first Saturday of every month. Farmer’s markets are getting in more produce than ever, like Strites Orchard. And, more often than not, somewhere nearby there’s a music or festival of some kind that you can go to for just the day. Harrisburg’s Independence Day Celebration on July 4th is one event that is a great option for spending the day with the family.

Enjoying the nice weather and longer days doesn’t have to put a dent in your wallet. There’s so much to do as long as you get creative and just look to relax. The possibilities are endless, even if summer is not.