Erich Artner: “Without legs to the Ironman – hurdles are only in the head.”
Erich Artner has always been an athlete. From the age of 11 to 15, he played competitive handball for West Wien. As a young man, however, he contracted Waterhouse-Friderichsen syndrome and subsequently lost both lower legs.
“…The only thing that got the disease was my two lower legs. That’s all I was willing to give!”
His lecture topics
Without legs to the Ironman – hurdles are only in the head!
CHANGE and challenge (Change Management) as well as INCLUSION (Diversity Management) are the main topics in the keynote. Erich Artner talks about the important topics of feeling good (feel good) and mental resilience (resilience). He approaches these two topics and shows which basics and actions are necessary to feel good and that this feel-good zone exists for everyone, as well as what it takes to (experience) diversity and to profit from it.
Change – Change Management
Based on the experiences of his youth, a stroke of fate that tore him away from his first life and the hard way back into this feel-good zone, Erich Artner talks about where the crucial points were that made this “comeback” possible and thus the positive commitment to this change process. A comeback into a feeling zone that has nothing to do with comfort and comfort zone. Rather, for him this feeling of well-being always means a high degree of satisfaction and satisfaction is always connected with visions, goals and action – DOING! Based on this conviction, Erich Artner reflects on the basis of his life, what he has experienced and gone through, how to deal productively and positively with major challenges and changes (change management) and what needs to be taken into account in advance and today in order to make a comeback, to come back even stronger. The importance of taking responsibility for yourself, trusting yourself – “If you don’t trust yourself, why should anyone else trust you?”, working on your self-confidence and living your passions.
Inclusion – Diversity Management
If you have experienced what it means to be marginalized from one second to the next (physical disability) and no longer seen as a full member of society. And if you could experience how hard and how long this way back can and probably must take, then you can tell stories. Stories of how inclusion can work, how you can benefit from it in a big way, and how incredibly important it is in today’s global and mobile world. A keynote that helps to dissolve supposed differences and prejudices and opens your eyes to diversity and a colorful world.
Due to an infection, Erich Artner loses both lower legs…. but never his willpower.
But with the support of his family and friends and due to his life-affirming willpower, he managed to grow from this fate and emerge stronger. In the years that followed, he also found his way back to sports. He first started skiing and playing wheelchair basketball before he discovered cycling. Through this he came on a long path to triathlon and is today the “1st Austrian finisher with 2 prostheses over the Ironman distance.”
Relatively soon after his amputation, Erich Artner realized that he enjoys spreading fun, confidence, and hope despite his difficult situation.
The philosophy “to go through life with open eyes and childlike curiosity” and to face the new big challenges and changes as far as possible with a (even if sometimes very small) smile was an important anchor for him to get through this hard time well.
To realize again and again that life goes on and that there is much more to life than walking through it on two healthy legs and that there is so much else that can be seen and lived now, was a principle that Erich Artner and his environment had to repeat to him again and again.
It was exactly this way of thinking that helped Erich Artner extremely. And it was exactly this attitude that he wanted to convey from the very beginning. Whether at the beginning in rehabilitation, or later based on his sporting activities – simply to show that if you take responsibility for yourself, if you trust yourself, if you are open to your passions and if you remain true to your smile, then you develop courage and then you can do anything!
This is exactly what Erich Artner stands for behind these words “be courageous” – go through life with courage, not recklessly, but with a lot of self-confidence – and this is what he wants to convey with my sports activities and in his speeches!
Live your dreams. The change of perspective.
A change of perspective that should help to recognize what prerequisites each of us has, how privileged we are and that this forms a perfect prerequisite for sustainable satisfaction for each of us, if we are willing to recognize and do things that are important to us.
Thus, Erich Artner’s lectures are intended to awaken the processes of direction, impetus and maintenance and to be an impetus to concretely strive for visions and goals in order to thus start the path to a zone of well-being and to also stay in this zone (through actions).