Thanksgiving

Many may recognize Thanksgiving as a time to gather with loved ones and eat turkey along with their favorite side dishes. Friendsgiving is not any different as it’s a time to break bread with friends that have become family. That’s what BV305 are; family. The Saturday before Thanksgiving they got together to feast and cheer with one another celebrating friendship, family, and brotherhood. As one brother after another poured into the home carrying sweet and savory sustenance; the joyous sound of warm greetings began to fill the kitchen. These men who are now brothers brought along with them, their significant others, their children, as well as pets to share in gratitude for the support and love provided by one another. It has been a difficult year for those who have faced some realities that come with life. Some had faced financial troubles, some had lost loved ones, and some had illness in the family that loomed over their heads, but still, they showed up to break bread with one another. Amongst them, a brother in particular may have faced the most difficult peril. His young son who’s battle is beyond anything most come to ever experience, but yet he brightened the hearts off all present bringing along his witty charm, dancing and playing as was his nature. A warm feeling was felt throughout and a greater appreciation encompassed all present in knowing they were able to make it to the family affair in the highest of spirits. On this day, BV305 gathered to show thanks; for their brothers who cheered them on, those that offered their wisdom and silently held one another up when it was difficult to stand. If you could take a peek into the evening, you would witness unity as they assembled as one to set the tables, the placing of several food items, and filling of cups; making sure not one was left thirsty. It was a true example of what is regularly accomplished when a proper clan comes together for the prosperity of the unified whole. While feasting under the night sky, there was no shortage of laughter and discussions that unraveled the complexity of our brothers. Perspectives and memories shared bearing experiences within the same brotherhood, just thru different eyes. Bonds were made and enforced this night as glasses were raised, not voices. After dinner, they huddled together with lowered heads and raised spirits while the familiar words spoken by the Captain so many times rang out: “One thing is for certain, One thing is for sure, Family on three. The count commences and they spoke as one “FAMILY!!!” Thanksgiving is a time one chooses to cherish the families and friends around them; in particular the Bearded Villains Miami Chapter acknowledges their accomplishments are solely due to the support of those that believe in them, and in the spirit of such a day, gratitude cannot be expressed more abundantly, as it was this night.Cheers from our BV305 Family to your and yours.Written By: Gilson “Sonny” Espinal
IG: @sonny_bv305

Mental health

A girl sits in the corner of her bathroom curled up, crying uncontrollably. She looks at her trembling hands and begins to run them through her hair gripping as she starts screaming. Her mind is telling her she’s all alone, despite the surrounding affections and support of her family and friends. The emotions and sensations are too strong to withstand. She tries to voice out-loud what’s wrong but it doesn’t sound right. Her memories are even in question as dreams and reality commingle in a dance that leaves her head spinning worse than before. This is a spiraling fall that maybe she can snap out of. Sometimes people just can’t.
What if this were a man? Let’s think for a second. The very same fate and reality can befall a man too. Does that make him less of a man? Does that make him weak? Maybe his situation isn’t as severe as the girl above. Maybe he has doubts and reservations in his mind and feels he has no one he can turn to for advice. Society has painted the bearded man in a light that portrays him in an “ALL THINGS MAN” ideology. Toxic masculinity is very real. Pressure to live up to what society sees as a man can be daunting, and wear thin on one’s psyche. In this day and age there is a real issue with what identifies a man Into a strong representation of what people see or someone that can’t stack up – kind of like a lumber jack versus an accountant. A man has next to no emotion. He’s logical and calculating. A man can take feelings and bury them so he’s unphased by them. He’s fearless and strong. He’s a protector, a fighter, and a fierce lover. A man is defined by his physical prowess, look, and mental capacity as well as condition.
What is mental health? Mental health encompasses our psychological, emotional, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel and act. Imagine being a prisoner in your own mind. Almost as if two people occupied the same body. You question your every thought. What is reality and what is fabricated? Knowing full well the person you once were, but not being able to act like you used to is a personal Hell. This isn’t a campfire horror story, there are people living this turmoil this very moment. It may even be a someone close to you or a loved one.
This kind of sickness effects everyone it comes in contact with. Sometimes you can’t see the signs. Little changes in a person’s behavior or mood. On the other hand, you may see the person you’ve known all your life deteriorate before your eyes. There’s little you can do in this position except cope as best you can and try to understand what that person may be going through. It can be emotionally and physically draining dealing with someone that used to be sharp witted but now sometimes doesn’t remember who you are or what they had just said. A worse scenario is an adult that is now dependent on their loved ones because their mind is like a child’s.
Mental health is vital in every aspect of our lives. It helps us determine how we make decisions, interact and relate with others as well as handling stressful situations. Certain factors can trigger problems such as family heredity or even a traumatic experience. It’s important to be aware of early warning signs of someone that may be experiencing problems. Help is available in certain cases especially if caught early enough. If you are a person that is dealing with someone in this condition, you’re not alone. Don’t hesitate to reach out and talk about the situation. Venting is healthy and keeping those emotions and feelings inside can and will affect your own mental health as well.
Gentlemen, at the end of the day we are human. We are men and we are prone to mistakes. We are Bearded Villains and part of a global brotherhood. We have to be able to help each other and ourselves before we help others. We are also entitled to have feelings and emotions and we need not fear to be judged in reaching out and expressing or exploring something that bothers us on WHATEVER level it may be. A molehill of a problem to one person may be an all consuming mountain to another. You may have the answers to help out a brother. Brothers, it doesn’t make us less of a man to reach out and let a Brother know you need help. It doesn’t have to feel like an obligation to talk to someone specific. You may not have that kind of relationship with that guy, but you may with a few other guys. Talk to someone you are comfortable with. Don’t hesitate because you think you don’t have someone to turn to. You ALWAYS have the support of your Brothers. WE are a FAMILY. We grow together and we struggle together, but it’s done TOGETHER.
Just as we strive to be better physically by going to the gym and eating healthy, we should not neglect our own mental wellness. It’s integrated in everything we do. It’s everything we say, how we react and how we deal with people. Actively seek help if you need it. Stay positive in situations. See if you can develop coping skills for times that may weigh heavy on you. You CAN ask for help or vent. Leaving yourself to your own thoughts could cause more harm than good. Connect with people. All of us should make it our missions to be our brother’s and sister’s keepers. This means that it falls on us to ask the questions and give those people that may have reservations the opportunity to express their thoughts, emotions, and problems. We do what we can, when we can for ourselves, our families, and friends. After all, we’re all on this rock called earth living lives – together.

Solidarity Pt. 1

The Four Seasons are something we learn about as children, in school. We come to later realize how to differentiate them, in our own way. We learn with Spring comes the most beauty in colors, as we see the full blooms of flowers and the fully covered canopies of trees, the gleam of the sun in our faces, and of course the beautiful clear blue sky; undisturbed by the gloom of dark clouds. Next, comes what may be a child’s most preferred season; none other than Summer. We all remember sitting in our class rooms, starring up at the clocks as our teachers spouted off about summer reading lists and expectations for the following grade year; the insistent regard to safety in the following months to come, and on and on and on. All the while, the only one thought we had, was freedom. NO MORE SCHOOL, and all that came in between. As adults, beach parties, and less traffic!! A few months later summer is past and is followed by fall; a time where the temperatures cool, and the autumn colors sprout forward. Best of all, Halloween arrives with spunky costumes (for the adults of course) an abundance of cheap candy, and potentially a few opportunities to scare the life out of your close friends and family. The last of the 4 seasons of course; is Winter. The time for snow, for Christmas spirit, for awesome gifts, out of town friends and relatives, and end of year bonuses!Now, if you’re from Miami, you only really know 3 seasons. Either “damn its hot!”, or “I’m freezing my butt off!” are two. Albeit, this claim to freezing is relative being as Miami’s cold lasts all of 3 weeks, and typically doesn’t go below 43 degrees, but again, it’s Miami, warm and wet is what you get! The reality is, Miami does not get the beautiful colors in the Spring, just cooler waters at the beach to enjoy. As one may suspect, there is no snow being as water freezes at approximately 32 degrees; but still just cold enough for ladies to not feel silly when buying knee high boots, they will wear a total of 7 times in the next 5 years. With Autumn does not come the oranges, yellows and reds; instead there is brown leaves, noisy leaf blowers and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks, go figure. Which brings us to Summer, and the third season. Summer break…… less traffic; sure, its hot enough to fry eggs on the sidewalk, but there are beaches, mojitos, and very little clothing to compensate. However, there is one other “season” attached to Summer, the third season…….Hurricane Season.Living in south Florida, it is relatively common to see a storm surging in the Atlantic. When the warm water rises to meet the cool air, it creates storm clouds which naturally, given enough time, build up to a huge storm formation then a tropical storm and eventually, a Hurricane. The exact definition is, “a storm with a violent wind, in particular a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean”, let us paint a picture. Imagine a tornado that is dozens or even hundreds of miles in diameter, the eye in its center, its walls being the deadliest point of the cyclone. Now, let’s add to it the several trillion gallons of water it sheds daily throughout its life span, the immense energy building up that release’s cascades of lighting, all the while moving steadily where it chooses. It is frightening to say the least, however common enough where it is taken lightly, too often.If you have lived in south Florida more than 10 years, chances are you’ve experienced at least one Hurricane, and possibly more depending on the decade. Those that have lived their whole lives in the state, have seen several and nearing the double digits. It has become so common an occurrence, that most natives make jokes of anything below a category 4 hurricane; to a point where “Hurricane Parties” have become a thing. Plans are made to drink, and play dominos and board games to pass the time as the storm runs its course; candles at the ready and even wagers made at to when the power will go out. Granted, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Andrew in 1992, building codes were adapted to compensate for such storms, therefore less devastation is to be expected, which ease the minds of most.Unfortunately, this is not the case everywhere and was made evident many times. Late August of 2019, brought forth devastation as Hurricane Dorian made land fall in the Abaco Islands in the Bahamas, and later in Grand Bahama. As the eye of the storm touched land as a Category 5 hurricane, with winds nearing 200 MPH, it eventually came to a dead stop thrashing everything within its range. In its wake, thousands were left without homes, without businesses, without supplies or food or clean water. Lives were taken, families separated and utter devastation left behind, not simply in the neighborhoods, but in the hearts of all that were left.Being from Miami, BV305 are amongst those that have lived through many of these Tropical Cyclones, including the aforementioned, Andrew. Seeing and experiencing what these natural beasts can do, they knew exactly what had to come next. Much like with their brothers in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, the calls rang out, and they were answered. Supplies came in from near and far in such abundance they had to organize pickups every 2 to 3 days to not overwhelm their drop off points, and taken to a warehouse where they await the trip to the Bahamas where they will hand deliver the much needed food and supplies, as well as the man power to work in whatever way that is able. Anxiously they wait on the call for the “all clear”, the call being what tells them it is safe to fly into the island. Recently, the call was made, and soon several of their number will be touching down to provide the help needed, personally. In the coming weeks, there will be, despite the cliché term, literal sweat, blood and tears shed among them, as lives will be saved.One is quick to dismiss a simple gesture, thinking grandeur to be the only true impact. How can my dollar, or my bottle of water make a difference? How can I alone be enough, if I am just one? You may just be one, that dollar may just be one, but if you are one and he is one, now there are two, and others will see and come together to become many, just as the BV305 has. Together, they are many, and together the world slowly becomes an altruistic one.Written By: Javi VasalloInstagram: @_pride55

World Meet 2019

The Bearded Villains name and idea was originally established in 2014 in L.A. It’s purpose was to showcase bearded men of character, from a celebrity to the guy next door. Character, in this light, was the catalyst for evolution. Years later what the organization started as to what it has become is not short of extraordinary. Over the years this Brotherhood has grown to Worldwide renown bent on charity, loyalty, and respect for every person they come into contact with. They are pillars in their respective communities to aid in the betterment of those in need. If not them, then who? It’s no wonder BV305 returned to the beginning by touching down on the west coast in Los Angeles for the 2019 World Meet. Brothers from across the globe converged to this location to represent their chapters, revitalize friendships and make new ones. Here, being in each other’s presence further inspired and motivated existing members and new prospects to do great things. To be a part of something bigger than themselves.

Many brothers booked and stayed at the Historic Mayfair Hotel, nestled in downtown L.A. Built in 1926 and designed by Gulla Jonsidottir, it stands as a timeless piece of Hollywood antiquity. The first post Oscar party was held a the M Bar which resides in the heart of the lobby. Though the hotel is modeled in nostalgic décor and architecture, it is also adorned with a multi million dollar collection of street art by Kelly “Risk” Graval that captures L.A.’s contemporary art scene. This coupled with nightly live music, and it’s hard not to think of the hotel as an attraction in and of itself.

Los Angeles is such a vast expanse of sites and various points of interest. A person may feel they have unfinished business in L.A. if they failed to get around and take in all there is to see and do. Places like Little Tokyo or Chinatown are steeped in culture and authenticity. It’s almost as if a piece of these countries were dropped in and operate as satellite entities to their native lands. Los Angeles is also an nexus of arts and entertainment. Theater, music acts, art exhibits and historic landmarks really highlight the energy and celebration of creativity that thrives here. One such Landmark was the actual location for the World Meet itself, The Avalon.

The Avalon has been at the epicenter of show business in Hollywood since it first opened it’s doors in January of 1927. It has been an integral part of the history that makes up Hollywood. The Beatles played their first West Coast show there in 1964. The ABC network created a variety show based in the Avalon; at the time it was called The Hollywood Palace which was also the name of the show. Acts like The Rolling Stones and The Jackson 5 played there for the first time. Countless memorable acts have performed their way across the stage and now The Bearded Villains World Meet would be added to the roster. The World Meet was a buzz of excitement. Brothers interacting with one another, sharing life experiences, chapter memorabilia, and taking photos to commemorate the moments. The day was filled with amazing energy, drinking, pin and patch swapping, and merriment. Of course what would a bearded event be without a Beard competition?!? What better way to segway into a beard competition than with an exclusive BV Song titled “One Brotherhood One Ship” performed by 3 of their very own?!

Introduced to the stage were 3 Hip Hop stars. Captain of Bearded Villains Ventura – Damon a.ka. Blah, Co-Captain of the BV Virginia – Jimmybean, and Lieutenant of Bearded Villains Chicago – Jelli each took to the stage and picked up a microphone. Three loyal BV members from different chapters in the US, who all met through the Brotherhood and had built their bond across hundreds of miles. This was a true testament to exactly what the Bearded Villains have built. For everyone in attendance the lyrics sang out the very essence of what it was to be a BV brother. The song further entrenched the bond and faith everyone had to the Bearded Villains. The competition was filled with various categories and contestants showboating their lavished face trophies and outfits. As Victors emerged there could only be one Best in Show, and to this Bearded Champion an engraved BV sword was bequeathed to him. The trophy was definitely unique for best in show, but some awards are mightier than the sword.

At the closing of the competition, the President of Bearded Villains, Von Knox, began to speak out about recognition in the organization, as well as acknowledgement for the dedication to community and brothers. Recognition for living the very motto and slogan which BV is now founded. With admiration, he then called forward the entire BV305 Chapter to stage. After being presented their award, the Captain and Co-Captain of BV Argentina were also presented as well as Said Azbane who went on to be accredited that despite not having a chapter in his own country, is amongst the most involved in all aspects related to BV across the globe. Von Knox presented them individually with the Big Heart Award, an award handed to these select few that embodied what the organization has now become. The overwhelming feeling of being humbled and honored in the presence of your peers was evident on all the brothers’ faces. In turn, all had some words to say, but the message was a simple one throughout them. They spoke of how this wasn’t just for any one chapter, but for everyone that has taken up the call to help and continue to do charitable acts in the community. To inspire everyone to continue to do what they do, and of course, what is given in aid is repaid in the help and successes of those helped. That above all else is the best reward. BV FOR LIFE!!

Written By:
Bryon “Shagnus” Chagnon &
Javi Vasallo

IG:
@shagnus
@_pride55

Record Breakers

Nothing feels better than the satisfaction of success. Working hard towards a goal or passion and pushing your limitations to meet or exceed that milestone. That sensation can be quite contagious. That feeling can drive us to do great things, be selfless, or be bigger than ourselves. One such success is pushing one’s body and mind together to achieve greatness. Weight training is one of he best examples of this. Through dedication and consistency the body transforms into a stronger and healthier version all while continuing to break boundaries and push through the body’s limits of what it can do. The changes aren’t overnight but putting in the work day after day is cumulative and the results are their own rewards. What’s more impressive, is to see an adaptive athlete rise to the occasion and not let boundaries define them.

You’re going to say, “but what’s an adaptive athlete?”. Fear not, there’s an answer to your current quandary. An adaptive athlete is the ultimate in fitspiration! Let’s put to rest the words “handicapped”, “disabled” and “special needs”, instead, let us focus on what it means to adapt. To adapt means to adjust and undergo some kind of modification to fit new circumstances. It is in our nature to adapt to life in anything it throws our way. Our bodies, minds, and spirits are constantly making the changes as an innate survival technique. An adaptive athlete has honed their motivation and will to persevere as pursue their goals despite physical or mental inconveniences. There are people and organizations that support and celebrate dynamos like this…enter Limitless Lifters.

Limitless Lifters was founded in 2018 after seeing a need for inclusion and financial support to athletes with special needs of all ages and levels of fitness. They do this through educating within the fitness community as well as organizing fundraisers to raise money and awareness for the competitors. Their mission is to show how important fitness; recreationally and competitively; for athletes and individuals, especially the adaptive level, can be for their overall wellbeing. Ultimately to see an all inclusive fitness community. This ushered in a competitive event known as Record Breakers.

The Bearded Villains Miami Chapter had been waiting for an opportunity to help in any way. Many of the brothers in the chapter are health conscious and promote a healthy lifestyle on social media to help others daily from diet tips, to accountability in the gym, and even words of empowerment and positivity to get through. On May 25th the Bearded Villains Miami got the chance to host an event, dedicated to finding sponsors to support these athletes for a future event, in conjunction with Limitless Lifters and The Battle Axe Gym. One of our members first reached out to Alejo of Limitless Lifters to collaborate with them. Khaled, a member of Battle Axe Gym, reached out to Alejo as well to get involved. Khaled’s grandfather, Abdul Chafoor Al-Yassery, was also a man who cherished helping others less fortunate. He would always bring people together and help raise money for those in need. He also sponsored orphans and helped households who had lost their “breadwinner” from war. He was a beacon of Humanity and brought smiles and blessings to all that knew him. When he passed, Khaled wasn’t able to be with him and felt the best way to honor his memory was to continue in his footsteps by doing the same acts of selflessness that he had done when alive. Khaled asked to have the event named in Honor of one of his best friends and closest confidants, his Grandfather. Abdul Chafoor Al-Yassery would look on as his legacy continued.

Record Breakers started off the day with powerlifting. Michael De La Pava, Owner of Battle Axe Gym, MC’d the event. His boisterous voice and attitude engaged the crowd to cheer on and encouraged the competitors to push themselves to success. BV305 did any and all they could to give support and raise money to help them reach their goal to be able to go to an upcoming meet in August. The rest of the day had obstacle course events as well as tug of war and sled push/pulls. Sponsors for energy drinks and nutrition were there as well with proceeds going towards the event. The energy was explosive and electrified as spectators cheered on the athletes. They were completely receptive to the cheers and praises, posing for onlookers and hugging their coaches and families with each lifting victory. It was truly an awe-inspiring competition for those that participated and those that didn’t. These athletes put their hearts and sheer will with every lift in every event. People that didn’t even work out or exercise left with a feeling of inspiration to be active. There were no longer any excuses they could give themselves about NOT being healthy especially after seeing these Warriors put it out there and give it their all despite some hinderances. Any hinderance is merely an obstacle to overcome and defeat – whether mental or physical. These kids wont give up on their dreams and aspirations just like none of us should either. with that being said, don’t let a day go by without doing something to help make life better for yourself or better yet someone else who may need the extra push.

Bearded Villains Miami will be sponsoring Joshuell from Special Allstars Fitness for a competition on August 10th in Fort Myers. His energy and showmanship is absolutely contagious. He’s always smiling and clearly loves to perform and lift. He’s a shining example of a love for life and living without limitations, something we can all embrace. Here’s to good health!

Written By: Bryon ‘Shagnus’ Chagnon

IG: @shagnus

Edited By: Javier Vasallo

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