50 Pushups

Suneel Gupta
Jun 7, 2015 · 2 min read

Dear Sammy,

Sanjay (your Tauji) just told me a story about his colleague, Dan, at the hospital. At his 60th birthday party, Dan’s 25-year old daughter stole the show with her toast. The day Dan learned his wife was pregnant with her, he vowed to do 50 pushups a day, and has kept his commitment for 25 years.

Some of his daughter’s fondest memories of him involve pushups. She remembers sitting on his back, looking into his room, even being locked out of their cabin watching Dan do barehanded pushups in snow.

When I hear her story, I wonder whether I have my priorities straight. Dan is a neurosurgeon, trained at Harvard and Mayo, and has been named one of the “Best Doctors in America”. I’m sure his daughter’s proud of all of that, but her most special memories are of the way that he took care of himself.

On the days that I work out and eat right, I feel like I’m doing that for me. But Dan’s daughter makes me think that maybe hitting the gym isn’t just a personal benefit, but an act of love. And if that’s true, then I want do it more often, and in a way that feels connected to you.

So I’m following Dan’s lead. This letter is proof, and I want you to hold me to it: 50 pushups a day until I’m too old or frail.



Letters to Sammy

Letters from Leena & Suneel Gupta to their daughter, Samara “Sammy” Gupta

    Suneel Gupta

    Written by


    Letters to Sammy

    Letters from Leena & Suneel Gupta to their daughter, Samara “Sammy” Gupta

    Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
    Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
    Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade