50 year old Paris native, Sayagh Jacques, has one incredible story to tell. It’s one of how he not only became a bodybuilder, but how he barely escaped homelessness, a drug addicted wife, and rescued his 5 year old baby girl in the process.
Young and very much in love, Sayagh had married his high school sweetheart Emily. It wasn’t long after their wedding night when Emily had found out she was pregnant. Although they were very much unprepared, they decided to have the baby anyways.
Little did they know what the future had in store for them.
After the baby was finally conceived, the couple had begun to experience hardships both within their relationship and financially. Sayagh tells us, “We couldn’t sleep because of the baby, I was working full time at a grocery store stocking shelves, and she had lost her job as a receptionist.. We had to fire our nanny and move to a smaller place. We weren’t even sure if we would be able to still afford both diapers and meals..”
After smoking for 4 years, Emily had decided to pick up something stronger to cope with what she thought was a troublesome daughter and a “mistake of a marriage.” With the money Sayagh had saved from working various small jobs, she had decided she couldn’t take it anymore and spent it on heroin behind her husband’s back.
What seemed like a good idea at the time, only made their living situation worse.
Sayagh had started to see a huge difference in Emily and had also started to accuse her of taking the money. Irritable from being accused, when Sayagh would leave the apartment for a job, Emily would take the pain out on their daughter before taking a hit of her new relaxant. “I would come home after a long day and I’d find Chloe [their daughter] crying in the corner of the closet. She would have bruises on her arms and legs and sometimes even cuts. It absolutely broke my heart.”
Being a man of small stature with a wife two times stronger than him, Sayagh decided that he too, couldn’t deal with this. He knew for sure Emily was taking the money, so he’d put some of his salary in the usual place where his wife could find, he’d spend some on necessities for the house, and would secretly stash the most and remaining amount under the mattress. He would workout in his spare time between jobs around the city – using lampposts for pull ups, the ground for pushups, and even making barbells from brooms. All of this so he could be able to stand up to his wife like a man and be able to leave with his daughter to give her a better life.
“The way we were going, we were almost on the streets. Wherever she [Emily] was taking the money, it wasn’t going to our rent. Our electricity would be off for weeks at a time. I needed to get out and I needed to take my daughter with me.” Sayagh says.
With enough determination, he was able to succeed in just a couple of months. Leaving his daughter with his father on the weekends and for long jobs, he found a small place far away from his wife, which he had divorced as soon as he had helped her get over her fatal addiction.
Sayagh continues, “I was strong enough to take the beatings going back to help her. Strong enough to tell her no. All I wanted was to please her in the beginning. I wanted to provide for them and make sure they could eat, but I was weak. Even now I work on my body. I train so I will never have to be too weak to take care of my family again.”
Watch Sayagh perform a couple of his workouts below: