When someone says "Ill just be one second" to justify a delay we usually think little of it, even when that one second turns into several minutes. In the overall scheme of things, one second only represents approximate 1/1,000,000th of a human life expectancy. Once in a while one second makes a tremendous difference in the outcome of a situation.
Here's a good example. My friend Aliy Zirkle finished the 2007 Kuskokwim 300 sled dog race in 10th place, only 1 second ahead of Paul Gebhardt. In terms of prize money, that one second was worth $100.00. In Fairbanks, $100.00 will buy at least three bags of premium dog food, or buy enough cable-filled gangline to accommodate a team of 8 sled dogs.
It was apparently a very exciting finish, which Aliy's sister Kaz described as follows:
"Aliy said she had been running with Paul on and off the entire race, especially towards the end. She was trailing behind him through Kwethluk, where she dropped Heidi. As they approached the finish line, there is a “No Man’s Land” where the rules for passing and repassing no longer apply. Just before the finish, Aliy said to Doña, “Okay, girl, lets do it.” Little 35 lb Doña, lead the team to the left of Paul’s sled and sprinted up the length of the team. She and Bullet pulled ahead of Paul’s leaders, crossing the finish line 6” ahead of them."
Just something to consider the next time someone tells you to wait just one second.