Warning, most might find this too much detail! (But it's my blog)
I have been working on my deadlift for 2.5 years now. I remember at my old gym, when I was first learning, deadlifting my body weight and thinking that was good and enough. My coach at the time explained that usually people can deadlift more than their body weight. So I went a little heavier, but didn't really push it. At my current gym, there is a focus on weight lifting, particularly heavy weight lifting. So the days of lifting just my body weight were long gone. I remember one workout when I first started at my current gym with 70K (154 pounds) deadlifts that was absolutely impossible!
Since then, my deadlifting has had its ups and downs. I'd get stronger. Then I'd get injured. Then my brain would have deadlifting strikes. It was a roller coaster, at least as sad as my purslane misadventure.
About 3 months ago we did a 1 rep max. I managed to deadlift 107K and then tried 109K about 3 times and couldn't budge it. I decided that 107 was probably a good number and I didn't need to go any heavier - EVER. But my coach kept inching up my 5 rep max and trying to get me to try a 1 rep max again. And then something clicked. It was actually one off hand comment my coach made that adjusted my form a bit. I did a 5 rep max at 108k and finally felt strong. I finally felt like I was in control of the bar, instead of the bar controlling me.
So today, when Craig asked me to try a 1 rep max I said okay - though my brain was still doing some 'heavy deadlifts are too hard' moping. I warmed up to 108 and then he said 113. I was a little dubious, but I tried and it felt easy! Then 117, then 120, finally 122 (268 pounds, almost 2x my body weight). And it was still easy (ish)! I guess next time I go heavier.
Not bad for middle age!