If you're a NHL fan, you're probably familiar with the beards the players grow as they compete in the playoffs. It's meant to show their bond in reaching a goal. It's a constant reminder of what they're striving for together.
My father wore a beard for last fifteen years of his life. It looked good on him. He had a Santa Clause-type vibe when his grew in. On occasion, I would grow one when we were on summer vacation together. My dojo-mates would then take to calling me 'Hemingway' given the silver beard and my sunburned face.
With my jujitsu black belt test currently slated for late August, I'm going to grow a battle beard of my own. Partly to remind myself to focus and work hard in preparing for the upcoming test. Partly as a rememberance to my father who I wish could be here to share in the run up to my attempt.