Sometimes you just have to be comfortable being uncomfortable.
That was one of the many messages Olympic bronze-medal winner Sophie Schmidt told an assembly of soccer fans at Westview Secondary Thursday morning.
"Over the years there have been a lot of hard decisions to make... choosing soccer over school, or choosing school over soccer... For me the biggest thing I've learned is to be comfortable being uncomfortable, if that makes any sense," Schmidt explained.
"Believe it or not, I don't like running and it's really uncomfortable but I push through it," she added.
The Canadian women's team won the hearts of sports fans across the country in August as they battled their way into the finals at the Summer Games in London.
Schmidt earned one of the two points that defeated host-nation England in the quarterfinals.
The team succumbed in a controversial 4-3 loss in a nail-biter semifinal game in extra time to arch rival United States.
"The U.S. game, the game we lost, for me personally, that will be one of the most amazing epic games that I will ever be a part of. You can't write a better script than that... I'm so proud of the way we played. We left everything out there on that field."
And finally seized the bronze against France, which was history-making because that bronze was Canada's first Summer Games medal in a traditional team sport since the 1936 Berlin Games.
The midfielder who hails from Abbotsford has been a member of the senior national team since 2007. She appeared in all three matches for Canada at the 2007 FIFA Women's World Cup (scoring a goal), started all four matches at the 2008 Olympic Games, and won a 2011 Pan American Games gold medal. She was the captain of the Canadian U-20 team at the 2006 FIFA World Championships in Russia.
Schmidt spent six seasons playing for the Vancouver Whitecaps, winning a W-League title in 2006 while playing a big role in the team's undefeated regular season and run to the W-League final in 2010.
At Westview, Schmidt showed a video, shared her rise-to-fame story, answered questions, signed autographs, and posed for pictures. She was invited to speak to the students by the athletic director and head coach of the Westview Soccer Academy Dennis Schmidt.