Movement has become competitive, stilted, and controlled like painted birds on power city lines trapped by the freeze of control. The bio-medical model has modified the human mind and place us at the mercy of a knowledge-driven technology that cuts out the emotional embodied perception of joy. Moving has become a means to an end and places bodies under surveillance of functional outcomes. Steps are measured and health digitally logged in a mind-focused choreography of disciplined and prescribed behaviours. Gone are the childhood memories of the sheer fun and freedom of movement as an end with all the benefits and valued outcomes as part of a natural process of just being alive, being active and free in the joy of bodily expression.
Can we still remember the excitement of play and co-creating the essence of learning and social skills as we engage in physical challenges and games? It is on the field of play that we made friends, learn to compete with honour and lose with dignity – to show compassion, make friends and compete fiercely bind by fair play and teamwork. In capturing the essence of spontaneous play and find freedom and identity in time and space. Without that joy and very choice, living a healthy life adds to the burden of committed routines - yet another responsibility to meet targets of achieve external rewards. Healthy living presents a revolving door of self-discovery, mastery and achievement in and through movement. Without that, sedentary living is a manifestation of prescribed physical activity as medication not preventing the disease of enforced routines on human in search of freedom, discovery, and self-expression. The concept of medicine for lifestyle diseases has replaced the meaning and identity we find in team play, sport, physical activity, recreation, outdoor adventures, and dance – a myriad of movement experiences.
I can support the JOMP initiative by studying humans in motion, influences that motivate children to remain active throughout their lives emanating from an inner drive to find meaning and enter play in discovering a microcosm of society. As academic in the field of sociology, philosophy, and anthropology it would be a quest to study and publish evidence whilst bringing back the joy of movement in physical education curricula and programmes, advocacy for indigenous games and relevant physical culture and activities. This begins with physical education policies and curricula with the alignment of methodology and meaningful content. As President of the South African Physical Education Association, I intend to advocate and mobilise support for such an approach and practice. However, we realise that an ecological approach should be followed that necessitates key partnerships and the collaboration of multiple stakeholders across different sectors. I wish more JOMP in my life by moving with presence in the movement whether I go for a walk or hike, play tennis with friends or swim in the sea. I would like to focus more on the perceptual dimensions, smells and sounds when I engage in moving and exploring nature. It is snot about counting the steps and satisfying a technological device or feel guilty or relieved that I have made yet another target or meet another pre-set expectation. For me, it is to connect with my inner self, be aware of my surroundings and the feeling of how I move, how moving takes me to a sense of being that is essential for myself, my well-being and being alive.