When she was six, Margo Hayes confided to her diary her most precious dream: to become an Olympic gymnast. Six years later, that hope appeared dashed after foot injuries forced the budding athlete to quit the sport. But Hayes began spending more time climbing in Boulder Canyon, and as her skill increased, so did her ambition. She made lists of expert routes she wanted to climb and daydreamed about the holds on each. She pulled herself up Scarface in central Oregon. She completed Bad Girls Club in Rifle. In 2016, Hayes won Climbing magazine’s Golden Piton award for sport climbing. Then, two years ago, the then 19-year-old ascended Spain’s La Rambla, making her the first woman to conquer a 5.15a route, one of the most difficult grades. This month, the Boulderite will compete at the IFSC Climbing World Championships in Japan (August 11 to 21). If she finishes as one of the top two American women, she’ll represent her country during the sport’s Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, proving there’s more than one way to make good on a dream.