The Louisville, Ky., native was midway through a stellar career in the U.S. Army, working as a Ranger instructor at Fort Benning.
The staff sergeant, then 28 years old, was physically and mentally in the best shape of his life and loved to run, exercise and stay on the go.
Best of all, Oller was a family man, married to his high school sweetheart, Elisia, with two daughters, Lynnsie and Brittany, a son, Jimmy, and a nice home in Phenix City.
But that life, cherished and full of vitality, would nearly be destroyed later that winter day by a horrific accident on Wynnton Road in Columbus.
The excruciatingly painful experience, however, would also set the stage for a remarkable comeback few people might endure, much less pull off.
Oller can recall details of the bone-crunching crash as if it happened yesterday. Having left work early, he and Elisia were riding the 2006 Harley-Davidson Heritage motorcycle they had purchased about six months earlier.
They were headed west on Wynnton Road toward downtown and were near the Aflac building when, suddenly, a motorist pulled out from a side street and broadsided the couple. Jimmy was knocked to the pavement, while Elisia was thrown about 14 feet into oncoming traffic.
"My wife was the first thing that popped in my head," he said. "I heard tires squealing and everything. I had glass in my eyes, and there was blood and all of that stuff where my head smashed into the pavement."
The damage to their bodies was extreme. Jimmy's femur in his right leg was blown out of his hip socket, shattering the area. Elisia's back, right leg and left hand were broken.
Other motorists began to stop and rush to help the couple. At first, Jimmy felt no pain and began trying to crawl over to Elisia, but couldn't because of the injury and a bystander holding him down.
"My wife, I looked over and saw her reaching up towards the sky ... and then she just collapsed with her eyes still open. I thought she was gone," he said.
Another Fort Benning soldier just happened on the accident and approached Jimmy, who asked him to check on Elisia and let him know precisely how she was doing, and not to simply reassure him.
"He finally came back and said your wife's fine. She's just over there cussing and stuff. I knew that she was fine," said Jimmy, chuckling. "I was pretty happy, but she was banged up pretty good."
The two were rushed in separate ambulances to the emergency room at The Medical Center, where Jimmy would be in surgery for 90 minutes and Elisia for nine hours.
His femur was repositioned in hopes that the bone would reform to provide some support. She had two titanium rods placed in her back and another in her leg.
At one point, a doctor told Jimmy that because of the severity of the hip injury, his military career was over and he wouldn't be able to walk for long periods or run normally again, much less do strenuous physical activity. He also was told a total hip replacement would eventually be required.
"Everything he always would do, they took it away," Elisia said. "He loved to run. He loved to exercise. He loved to do everything. And pretty much a lot of it they said he wasn't going to do."
Jimmy spent three months in a wheelchair before turning to crutches and a cane. Depression began to seep in with the reality that his life and that of his family had changed forever.
As Jimmy puts it, he had gone from "hero to zero."
But by the end of 2008, something snapped inside the man who in high school was a wrestler and boxer and had won a weightlifting contest to determine who was the strongest. He began to fight back and push himself physically.
"I was so sick and tired of it," Jimmy said. "I just bit down on the pain and struggled through it. And eventually, believe it or not, I don't know how, but the pain started going away. It's still arthritic real bad down there, but I just fought through it."
Through working out and watching his diet, the weight began to melt off the former soldier, who shed 100 pounds in less than a year. He also received a mental boost after landing a job with a defense contractor at Fort Benning, training people for overseas deployments. He had once served in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Then, last September, Oller set his sights on an interest he once had in bodybuilding. He started lifting weights and entered a competition, but didn't fare well.
Looking for help with his training, he stumbled upon Roland Huff, a retired soldier and drill sergeant turned fitness instructor who opened a Body B 1 fitness center in Columbus in 2005, and then another in Smiths Station, Ala., about a year ago.
"Jimmy is a very strong-minded person," Huff said. "Can't do' is not in his vocabulary. It's simply not. I know because I've had athletes come to me that couldn't make it through the stuff I put Jimmy through, nowhere near it."
The training with Huff, a pro bodybuilder himself and member of the International Federation of Bodybuilders, began in February. There were intense workouts and weightlifting, including leg pressing 600 to 700 pounds, and strapping 100 pounds on his back to do myriad lunges in the parking lot in the screaming heat.
"Mentally, it will get you," Huff said of the workouts and yo-yo dieting. "Especially with Jimmy, with what he's gone through. He's an instructor out there on Fort Benning. With him being on his feet and talking and doing that all day long, and then he comes to me and I want to put all of this weight on him out in the sun. Mentally it will chew you up ... It really is a miracle for him to even be stepping on stage."
But the once-broken man who had persevered through a life-changing moment only four years earlier didn't flinch, wrapping up preparation for two competitions.
In mid-May, Oller competed in Mobile, Ala., posing well enough to bring home second and third place in his weight class. He followed that up a week later with a drug-tested competition in Montgomery, Ala., doing even better.
"I think his odds are pretty good," Huff said of Oller's professional aspirations. "The one in Montgomery, he won first place in his weight class and in the overall he finished second. So he almost turned pro right there in Montgomery. I think he really has the chance to turn pro in that league."
The stakes will only grow in the coming months. Oller is now training for a competition to take place Oct. 23 at Kendrick High School in Columbus, competing against 70 to 80 other men.
The hometown crowd will have the chance to check out the man who, in his mind, has gone from "zero" to a bona fide bodybuilding athlete shooting for victory on a major stage.
"I'll be competing with the bigger guys. But I believe I'll be able to hold my own," said Oller, whose confidence was evident in the big smile he flashed after a recent workout at the center in Smiths Station. "I want to go all the way. I want to be a pro."
Elisia, who was laid off from her non-tenured teaching position this spring due to budget cuts, is simply happy to see her husband enjoying life again. And she's proud he now has a purpose and is doing better than even she might have imagined.
"It's like he has his life back," she said. "It truly did amaze me that he was able to get in shape and lift and do all of the things that he's doing now because of his hips ... I guess when the weight starting peeling off, it was just like some of the aches and pains went away and his muscles became stronger. It's been pretty amazing to see the transformation."