BY JAMES TWOMEY
A man who was left with severe anxiety after one of his partners was killed in a motorbike accident, and another stabbed in the street, has overcome his physical and mental obstacles to complete his first 10km run.
Norman Rey Dacumos, 33, began a life-changing goal with tyre company Bridgestone UK, beginning with a four-month physical training programme and ending with a 10km run.
Norman, from New Cross Gate, has been struggling with anxiety and fears following the unprovoked stabbing of his partner Colin in Peckham Road, while on the walk home from work.
This took place more than 10 years after his former partner died in a motorcycle accident.
Both incidents robbed the New Cross Gate resident of his confidence, and he has since suffered from anxiety and depression, to the extent of having to relinquish his old job on health grounds.
Bridgestone enlisted the help of Rio 2016 Olympic Games diving gold medallist Chris Mears and performance psychologist Professor Greg Whyte for the challenge, both providing mental and physical support to Norman.
After completing the 10km run, Norman said: “I can’t believe I did it. I have regained my confidence through the whole experience. I think this is a new me now.
“I used to feel so afraid walking down the street, so when I saw the Bridgestone advert calling on people to ‘chase their dreams,’ I knew it was something I had to get involved in, as I was in need of help.
“I have managed to chase my own dreams to remove the levels of stress anxiety I used to have, and to be a more outgoing person.
“Exercise has certainly helped me here, as it has given me an inner strength to know that I can achieve special things when I put my mind to it.
“Four months ago, a 10km would have been an impossible dream, but here I am now.”
Synchronised springboard diving champion Chris created the task for a group of people to conquer, calling on all his experience of having to fight to realise his own dreams against all odds, when he
almost died from a ruptured spleen as a 16-year-old.
In 2009, Chris Mears suffered a ruptured spleen and was given a five per cent chance of survival by doctors. He was told it was likely that he would never dive again.
Chris said: “I don’t think the participants quite understand how much they have inspired me.
“They’ve done something remarkable and are a great source of inspiration.
“Completing a 10km run is a huge prospect for some people who might never dream of participating for a number of reasons, let alone complete the race.
“We were touched by Norman’s personal story, and it was a very emotional moment to see him cross the finishing line.”
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