This may sound like a strange parallel to make, but going to the gym and listening to This American Life have always shared a particular trait for me and one that I have a hard time understanding.

Basically, both activities take up about an hour. One 24th of a day. One 168th of a week.

And, both activities make me feel wonderful, inspired, energetic; a perfect balance between contemplative and content.

The mystery, then, is why I almost always tend to put both off? If I love This American Life so much, then why do I let episode after episode pile up on my ipod? And if I always feel good after going to the gym, then why must I drag myself there?

You could argue that it’s only after I’m working out that I feel good, but that just isn’t true. I really enjoy my time in the gym. (Especially – and ironically – because I tend to be listening This American Life). And yes, the scenery of the Poblado Paisas doesn’t hurt either.

Anyway, point being, I just got back from the gym and just finished listening to the beautifully crafted episode #346: Home Alone. And I feel like it was one of the best hours I’ve spent down here. I could ramble on for hours about the various shades of solitude and loneliness and the good and bad of each, but, as usual, This American Life does a better job.

Also highly recommended, Kurt Anderson with writer Jonathan Lethem and musician Andrew Bird on the relationship between solitude and creativity.

And finally, Jeff Tweedy, on ‘how to fight loneliness”. Enjoy.