Dreaming of the Impossible

In light of the Sochi Olympics, many young boys and girls will be lacing up skates for the first time, practicing the luge on their sleds, or choreographing their figure skating routine on the playground. There is something about watching the Olympics that allows us to dream of the impossible. 

When I was eight years old, I, too, dreamt of the impossible. My dream was to play ice hockey. I grew up before women’s hockey was an Olympic, a collegiate, or even a high school sport in my area. By my second year of playing hockey, my parents realized that this might not be “just a phase,” but a different road to be travel.

I grew up in Roseau, Minnesota, a small town of only 2,396 people, but a perennial powerhouse in Minnesota’s boys’ high school hockey.  I dreamed of donning our varsity jersey and playing in one of the country’s biggest rivalries, Roseau vs. Warroad. This seemed impossible to me because no girl had ever done this. No path had been forged until someone was willing to dream of what could be.

This dream became a reality, as I became the starting goaltender in net for the Roseau Rams Boy’s Varsity hockey team.  I also became one of the first girls to play for a Minnesota Boy’s Class AA hockey team in the state.  This path was never easy, but worth the journey. 

As I look back, I realized that the relentless pursuit of this dream became the staging ground for the next impossible dream. Several weeks ago, I watched another seemingly impossible dream unfold as InterVarsity announced the launching of Athletes InterVarsity. Most of my youth, high school, and college dreams were centered around achieving athletic success. As God grabbed ahold of my heart in college, my dreams started to align with my Father’s heart. While playing women’s college hockey, I started to see brokenness all around me and throughout the athletic community. I started to dream of my teammates encountering the love of Jesus. If other athletes and coaches around the country put their whole hearts and trust in the hands of Jesus, how might this change the culture of collegiate sports?

My dream of the impossible now focuses on the foundation of who God is, and his desire for all people to be saved and come to the knowledge of that truth (1 Timothy 2:3). Our vision in Athletes InterVarsity is to see athletes and coaches transformed, collegiate athletics renewed, and world changers developed. I am so fortunate to be able to serve a movement of staff who dream and believe that this is possible, not because of our effort, but because we serve a God who is able to do immeasurably more then we can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20), and that he is relentlessly pursuing these athletes and coaches. I believe God delights when we stretch our minds to hope for the impossible, so why not start practicing now?   

We, as the Athletes InterVarsity movement, challenge you to:

  1.  Practice dreaming of the impossible on your campuses, no matter how wild or far-fetched. 
  2. Trust in who God is, seek his heart for your campus or city, and join in where he is moving. 
  3. Continue to pray for and speak life into these dreams.

After all, what Olympic athlete made it to Sochi without first dreaming of the impossible?

About the Author
National Director of Athletes InterVarsity
Maghan (Grahn) Perez is the National Director of Athletes InterVarsity and began staff with InterVarsity in 2006. She is married to Orlando Perez, and currently resides in Worcester, MA.