LOWA ACTIVE Team Erwin Schottler
Nature as a classroom
It is virtually impossible to describe Erwin Schottler. He has simply been in so many places and done so many jobs in his life. After completing his craftsman’s apprenticeship, Erwin joined the police force and ultimately became a bodyguard assigned to its Special Operational Unit. He eventually left the force and began to run a hotel along with his wife. This line of work gave him an opportunity to get to know the coaches and trainers whose work had fascinated him so much. But his ideas about coaching were different and new: He wanted to actively reanimate the values and approaches that lots of office workers tend to forget during the stress-filled grind that makes up their daily lives – and the word “active” should definitely be taken literally here. Erwin’s “Gehspräche” (ambling conversations), “Walkshops®” and many other incentive opportunities are held outdoors, usually in the woods. The credo of his coached strolls is just as simple as it is ingenious: Shorn of all technical devices like smartphones and laptops, the walkers focus on other aspects of life and automatically deal with one another more respectfully. The creativity that frequently gets shoved aside during various stressful situations then reemerges from the shadows. LOWA has been Erwin’s footwear of choice for many years now and adds a dash of colour to nature – thanks to the bright red colour of the coach’s shoes.
Facts & figures
- Home base:
- Favourite climbing site:
- Local mountain:
- 1,83 m
- 79 kg
What makes hiking special to you?
“When I take in the world with all of my senses, I immediately forget about the thoughts that dominate my day. The array of colour, particularly the hues of green, instantly have an inviting and soothing effect on me. No matter which season of the year you are talking about – nature enables me to open my mind in all sorts of ways. Many memories, some of which extend all the way back to my earliest childhood, come to life. Ideas for the future pop up, too. The German expression “Composure is the wellspring of inner strength” is something more than a cliche to me.”
Many people know you as the “hiking pope”. Where did this nickname come from?
“I set up the first hiking school in the Palatinate region of southwestern Germany in 1986, when I was operating a hotel (Kastanienhof) at Donnersberg in the Palatinate with my wife. The story took on a life of its own in the media after an article about it appeared in the newspaper Sonntag Aktuell and in the newsmagazine Stern. I was then christened the “hiking pope” in the process.”
How did your relationship with LOWA begin?
“I have had a good relationship with LEKI for years thanks to my activities at DSV, primarily as a Nordic walking trainer and instructor as well as an instructor of snowshoe trainers and cross-country ski trainers. Naturally, you need good footwear if you want to put your passion for walking through nature into action. This is how I got to know LOWA. I am really thankful for that. The personal interaction that I have with my contact partners at the company is very pleasant and valuable.”
Do you always take along some everyday objects when you head outdoors?
“The best footwear that LOWA has to offer, a pocketknife, tissues, a small pen, a notepad, a good mood, a positive attitude and a camera.”
What would the perfect day look like for you?
“Starting the day with positive and demanding thoughts and plans and remaining focused on the task at hand while enjoying moments of relaxation (by doing such things as spending a few minutes outside in nature’s greenery). I always keep my eye trained on the goal, structure further steps and aim high every time.”