This is a poem by the legendary John Cooper Clarke, the nation’s Punk Poet and performance artist. At one level it is a great take on the over-zealous jogging fad so popular with New Year resolutions that so many will fade away well before spring arrives.
But on another level it is also an insightful critique of the experience of many of us feeling compelled into a working life of quick fixes and fad initiatives foisted upon us from above. Perhaps instead of the Pavlovian response of running around the DfE block against the clock we should all stop, hang about, let the clock go tick tock and reflect on whether our schools are any healthier for us running out of breath.
Please take time to read this, reflect on whether there is any learning you can take from it – individually, personally or professionally but also if there are any analogies with our professional lives and organisations that will help us be more mindful and effective in what we do.
Let us know what you think as well.
Health Fanatic by John Cooper Clarke
Around the block – against the clock
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock
Running out of breath – running out of socks
Rubber on the road… flippety flop
Non-skid agility… chop chop
No time to hang about
Work out health fanatic… work out!
The crack of dawn he’s lifting weights
His tell-tale heart reverberates
He’s high in polyunsaturates…
Low in polysaturates…
The Duke of Edinburgh’s award awaits
It’s a man’s life
He’s a health fanatic… so was his wife
A one-man war against decay
Enjoys himself the hard way
Allows himself a mars a day
How old am I – what do I weigh
Punch me there… does it hurt… no way
Running on the spot don’t get too hot
He’s a health fanatic, that’s why not
Running through the traffic jam – taking in the lead
Hyperactivity keeps him out of bed
Deep down he’d like to kick it in the head
They’ll regret it when they’re dead
There’s more to life than fun
He’s a health fanatic – he’s got to run
Beans, greens and tangerines
And low cholesterol margarines
His limbs are loose, his teeth are clean
He’s a high-octane fresh-air fiend
You’ve got to admit he’s keen
What can you do but be impressed
He’s a health fanatic… give it a rest
You can also see JCC delivering Health Fanatic live on YouTube here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmAuSuV4IP0