KWWL’s Ron Steele visits MFL MarMac High School

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KWWL news anchor Ron Steele spoke at MFL MarMac High School on Nov. 27.

Steele shares a laugh with high school principal Larry Meyer and PE teacher Pat Wille.

After the presentation, Steele posed for photos with students. (Photos by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

KWWL’s Ron Steele visited MFL MarMac High School Nov. 27, speaking to students about his over-40-year journalism career, and also encouraging them to exercise, work hard and dream big.

Physical education teacher Pat Wille coordinated the event, which she hoped would add to the activities students perform in class.

“I want to change how you look at PE,” she told those gathered. “I want you to hear from others who are physically active in the workforce. The goal is for you to learn something and take it with you when you go.”

Steele has a unique physical fitness story. Despite being an avid runner and completing 10 marathons, the news anchor suffered a heart attack nearly two year ago. Doctors quickly discovered four blockages and he underwent successful quadruple bypass surgery. The incident came as a surprise.

“I thought I was in absolutely perfect health,” he remarked. 

It may have been his love of sweets, like Mountain Dew and Sweetarts, that did him in, Steele admitted. He’s since kicked the habit.

“It’s hard to not have sugar,” he said, “but it’s a killer.”

Now, Steele is encouraging others to follow healthy diet and exercise habits, as well.

“I’m convinced almost every aspect of your life can be improved with exercise,” he stated.

Any movement burns calories, but cardio is especially important. Just 140 to 150 minutes of exercise each week can improve your health, he noted. It gives you more energy, aids in weight loss, helps with sleep and relaxation, makes your skin look younger, improves brain function and memory and also makes you happier by combatting anxiety and depression.

“Exercise may seem ridiculous,” Steele said, “but I encourage you to try it.” Even if it’s hard, “don’t give it up.”

In addition to healthy habits, Steele told students to dream big and not to listen to “dream killers” who discourage them.

A native of the small town of Wapello, Steele said he’s living proof you can do anything.

“I’m proud of coming from a small town,” he said. “Don’t forget where you come from.”

Steele also urged students to stick together, focus on their education and be careful of what they post on social media.

Finally, he added, “be someone who wants to make a difference.”

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