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The Zen of Soaking

Soaking Lesson :.

The wise, experienced water war Master watched over his students engaging in a water war training exercise. One of his students, Jarid, was particularly skillful at evading attacks and soaking lesser skilled students with ease. At the end of the 30 minute exercise, the master called the students forward to assess their proficiency. Most were half to nearly completely soaked with water except for Jarid who was spotlessly dry other than the soles of his shoes that had traversed the wet ground.

"Most of you have done well for today's exercise," the Master spoke. "You may do as you wish for the rest of the day except for Jarid who I need to speak with."

The other students headed off as another group of students entered the playing field to being their soaking exercises. Jarid was a little puzzled why he was singled out, but trusted the Master's wisdom.

"Jarid, your skills are impressive, but you need to practice more," stated the Master. "Continue your training with this class."

Jarid, still confused, obeyed the Master's request and trained further with this new group of students. Once again, Jarid's dodging skill proved a step above his competition. At the end of the session, while other students were drenched, Jarid remained virtually dry. Once again, the Master lauded the other students and called Jarid aside, asking him once more to train with a third group of students for the day.

Jarid wondered whether the Master was trying to push him to his limits or was simply picking on him for some reason he did not understand. Nevertheless, he obeyed his teacher's wishes and participated in the third training exercise.

This time, however, exhaustion from the two previous sessions had set in and Jarid could not move so quickly, ending up soon just as soaked as the remainder of the students in the group by the end of the session. As Jarid and the other students were called by the Master for inspection, a fourth group of students took to the field.

The Master dismissed the other students, but called Jarid forward.

Jarid, out of breath and soaked, could not help his growing frustration and spoke, "Master, I understand that you are wise, but I refuse to train with another group of students without a better explanation."

The Master smiled.

"Jarid, your skill is great, but in the first two sessions, you failed to learn and experience all that is water warfare," the Master began. "Now, you can go for today. You no longer need to train with this fourth class," the Master said, patting Jarid on his wet shoulders.

Jarid paused, puzzled by the Master's words, but headed off, relieved the Master was now pleased with his performance despite having not been as effective in the final session. Walking down the street, the summer sun still shone brightly; the air hot and dry. Despite his exhaustion after the two additional training sessions, Jarid was content and quite happy he was soaked considering the lingering heat.

"Oh!" he exclaimed aloud, now appreciating the true lesson of the day.

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